Margaret Heckler & Robert Gallo - 1984 Press Conference





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Published on Sep 15, 2013

Margaret Heckler was President Reagan's secretary of health and human services from March 1983 to December 1985. Here she says AIDS was her number one priority, but that she had to balance her department's response against the Reagan administration's fiscal priorities. Heckler maintains that preexisting Public Health Service budgets were enough and that additional funding to fight AIDS was unnecessary.

on April 23, Gallo stood next to that lady with the real bad hair, Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler, as she officially declared HTLV-III "the probable cause of AIDS." Though Gallo had not yet published his alleged proof for his hypothesis, by April 24 the New York Times was calling Gallo's HTLV-III "the AIDS virus," and all research into other probable causes of AIDS came to an abrupt halt. Later that same day, Gallo filed a patent for what is now known as "the AIDS test."

When documentation of Gallo's AIDS virus hypothesis finally appeared in a scientific journal, his paper proved only that his claims were not supported by factual evidence. HTLV-III virus had not been found in all of Gallo's AIDS patients, while indirect evidence of the virus in the form of antibodies (normally a sign of immunity to a viral infection) was found in less than half.

April 23rd is now recognized as the International Rethinking AIDS Day.

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