The AP is reporting that Huckabee, during his 1992 failed run for the US Senate, suggested a quarantine for not just those with clinical AIDS, but for all those with HIV:
Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk."Relatedly, The Politico is reporting that Huckabee also stated on a issue questionnaire (that he didn't HAVE to answer BTW . . . his opponent didn't):
As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.
. . .
When asked about AIDS research in 1992, Huckabee complained that AIDS research received an unfair share of federal dollars when compared to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
"In light of the extraordinary funds already being given for AIDS research, it does not seem that additional federal spending can be justified," Huckabee wrote. "An alternative would be to request that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor (,) Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research."
. . .
When Huckabee wrote his answers in 1992, it was common knowledge that AIDS could not be spread by casual contact.[yes, this was POST-Magic Johnson]
"I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk,"About the homosexuality comment . . . fine, most religious conservatives feel the same way (and this comment certainly won't hurt him with his base . . . though speaks to "electability" concerns were he to be the nominee.) But to purposefully and willfully interject such personal opinion onto a political questionnaire speaks to the wisdom and sensitivity of a candidate. However, where things get even more interesting are when Huckabee responded to this story breaking.
. . .
"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.... It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague [ed. insert: i.e. those with just HIV and not just those with clinical AIDS] have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents."
Huckabee's response is so internally contradictory that I can't stop laughing:
In the late 80’s and early 90’s we were still learning about the virus that causes AIDS. My concern, as a Senate candidate at the time, was to deal with the virus using the same public health protocols that medical science and public health professionals would use with any infectious disease.First, he's right that in the 80s there was lots of discussion/argument/fear about the communicability of HIV . . . but when he filled out this survey in 1992 there was no question how it was passed on and that a quarantine was completely uncalled for (the CDC in 1985 said that HIV was not passed by casual contact).
Before a disease can be cured and contained we need to know exactly how and with near certainty what level of contact transmits the disease. There was still too much confusion about HIV transmission in those early years.
. . .
In the absence of conclusive data, my focus was on efforts to limit the exposure of the virus, following traditional medical practices developed from our public health experience and medical science in dealing with tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.
So, we can sum up Huckabee's 1992 HIV/AIDS plan as follows:
AIDS poses a serious public health risk and so, because we don't know exactly all the ways it's passed on, we should:I hope this irony isn't lost on the general public. If he was dearly concerned and perplexed as to how HIV was transmitted why would he call for decreased funding?
- Quarantine all HIV carriers or those with clinical AIDS immediately.
- DECREASE HIV research funding and let all the rich Hollywood types pay for ways to figure out excatly how/why HIV is transmitted.
I'm guessing that "Huck's fibbin" once again on this one.