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Huckabee favored AIDS quarantine

When running for Senate in 1992, Mike Huckabee answered a questionnaire from the AP. Among his answers, he proposed "isolating the carriers" of AIDS. Andrew DeMillo reports for the Associated Press:


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."

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.

"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," Huckabee wrote.


Read the rest at the link above. By 1992, it was well established that AIDS wasn't a "plague," in the sense that it might spread through casual contact. It is unclear what effect this might have on Huckabee's campaign for the nomination, but it is one more question he must address now that he is in the spotlight as a "frontrunner" in Iowa.

Much of Huckabee's sudden rise in the polls, in my opinion, can be attributed to the same phenomenon which sees "generic" candidates faring better than specific ones. In the fog of the second tier of the race, Huckabee was an unknown quantity. This not only allowed him to define himself (because no one else was paying attention to him), but also allowed voters to see in him the qualities and policies they wished to see, just as with the unnamed "generic" candidate mentioned. Now he's on center stage, and his entire record is fair game to opponents and reporters alike.


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Comments (17)

Huckabee has had many probl... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Huckabee has had many problematic positions. I think he has too many negatives for a successful presidential bid.

However, I do agree with his opposition to increased federal funding of AIDS research. AIDS funding is way out of proportion as it is. It is the most politicized illness in history. Moreover, we already know how to stop it. Prevention is rooted in behavioral change. Is there any other disease in existence which has a virtual 100 percent chance of being obliterated by lifestyle changes but the victims refuse to make them?

This is wrong how?... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

This is wrong how?

Clinton found out..m... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Clinton found out..
maybe it was ok to fool around when you are localized...but on a bigger stage..than Ark?...

I also think that Huckabee's speech should not be compared to Kennedy's...
Kennedy did not go as far as Huckabee..

...ah Jeff..
could you please give your medical educational background that allows to to make a statement like the one above regarding disease?

How about those whose religions (there are several here in the U.S.) prevent them from getting a polio vaccine for starters?


..just as condom use can probably prevent most STD's it is not 100%..
by the way are you saying that no one has EVER gotten AID's from a blood transfusion..

..ah Jeff..could ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

..ah Jeff..
could you please give your medical educational background that allows to to make a statement like the one above regarding disease?

er... grade school?

Actually, the whole litany ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Actually, the whole litany of STDs fits my assessment, not just AIDS.

<a href="http://thumbsnap.c... (Below threshold)
Cletis:
I read about this and wrote... (Below threshold)

I read about this and wrote my own views over this...I may not agree that AIDS is a plague, but there is plenty of news to support the fact that some who have had AIDS have been allowed to mingle with the unknowing public...in fact there are laws to protect the anonymity of those with AIDS.

I am really not impressed with protecting those who will not isolate their behaviors when walking with a lethal disease.


And again it may not be the plague but it is destroying an entire generation in Africa. So I absolutely would think that isolation in cases of Africa or even infected drug abusers would be appropriate.

I wish AIDS did not exist but apparently letting people live with the disease is not working for their unsuspecting partners...so how do we stop new cases?

It does make one ponder. Consider your sweet college freshmen daughter off enjoying life and has one night that she will pay for until she dies. Why on earth are we allowing anonymity? Even those with TB have to be monitored.

The same is so with weapons, all must be registered...because of its lethal results.

I am not a Huckabee fan...but I am not disagreeing with this attitude...
just my thoughts.

I'm not a Huckabee supporte... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

I'm not a Huckabee supporter -- I don't know a damn thing about him, which means I don't care one way or the other. But way more interesting to me is the source of this story. Where did this story really come from? You can bet it wasn't original research from a single AP writer, tirelessly slaving away in the archives. They don't work like that.

I'd bet lunch it came out of one of the other campaigns or the DNC itself, which makes it just another slimy hit piece, planted with the AP (which never comments on stories or answers questions from anybody), and carefully planted on a Friday for maximum political impact. It's what passes for political campaigns these days. Just don't get any of it on your shoes on the way out.

bobdog ~ I'm not sure it's ... (Below threshold)

bobdog ~ I'm not sure it's a reasonable scenario that Romney operatives penetrated the AP archives, read the 1992 questionnaire, and then tipped AP reporters as to its existence. More likely the AP researchers ran Huckabee through the Lexis-Nexus database and found the report, or at least the fact it existed somewhere. There was no reason to search for Huck until he became a viable "first-tier" candidate.

But I will assure you that every campaign sends out links to bad news on the opponents. There is nothing wrong with that, so long as the reports are in the public domain. I get tons of these, and have yet to see one which could be legitimately labeled "unfair" in any way. If you don't want to hear that quote again, don't say it. If you don't want that vote to haunt you, don't cast it.

Opponents' public records are not only fair game; pointing them out helps voters make a knowledgeable decision. Just because your guy's history may be shaky doesn't mean it's dirty pool to point it out.

Jim's right. By 1992 we al... (Below threshold)

Jim's right. By 1992 we all knew it wasn't "the gay disease". We also knew you couldn't get AIDS just by breathing the same air. I think Huckabee is being disingenuous in his explanation of his stance back then. First he describes it being "almost 20 years ago". Well, it was 15 years ago, but almost twenty sounds longer for his purpose. Then to continue to stay in keeping with the "it's a gay disease" thing he says, "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk." All promiscuous behavior poses a risk to anyone's health, not just if you're gay. He's welcome to believe it's sinful to be gay but dishonest to perpetuate the fear that it's still gay people that pose a health risk. I mean cripes, hepatitis can be transmitted sexually too. Let's put all hepatitis carriers in isolation.

Huckabee's problems run eve... (Below threshold)

Huckabee's problems run even deeper than this ignorant view on the AIDS issue. As Governor he behaved like a corrupt televangelist while in office using the Governor's Mansion Budget fund for the personal use of his family, buying his wife expensive clothes from the budget fund. And he attempted to accept gifts as large as $70,000 in furniture from a wealthy cotton grower political donor. And after THE ARKANSAS TIMES exposed Huckabee's trail of using official budgets for his personal use, he destroyed the computer hard drive records of the Governor's office to prevent any further ethics investigation into his conduct as Governor after leaving office.

Staffers of the Huckabee campaign have used dirty tactics such as smear "push polls" against other candidates or inspiring religious prejudice against the Mormon faith of Mitt Romney. Huckabee only ordered these dirty tactics stopped once they became public.

The Clintons have always had highly questionable "Slick Willie" ethics while as Governor or President. But this Huckabee guy makes even Hillary Clinton look like Mother Teresa by comparison. Mike Huckabee has it all wrong if he thinks the Average American wants a President who diverts public budgets to his own use or accepts huge gifts from wealthy donors. He's as corrupt as they come, and missed his true calling as a sleazy televangelist.

Much of Huckabee's... (Below threshold)
Paul:
Much of Huckabee's sudden rise in the polls, in my opinion, can be attributed to the same phenomenon which sees "generic" candidates faring better than specific ones. In the fog of the second tier of the race, Huckabee was an unknown quantity. This not only allowed him to define himself (because no one else was paying attention to him), but also allowed voters to see in him the qualities and policies they wished to see,

BINGO!


I suspect one day in revisi... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I suspect one day in revisionist history, that it will be determined that once the AIDS virus was found to primarily affect homosexuals and drug users, it was allowed to run wild. So not all the possible measures, including quarantine, were allowed to be implemented by the elders of something or other.

Fifteen years ago, it was w... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Fifteen years ago, it was well known by the medical community that HIV could not be spread through casual contact, but it is incorrect to say that this was well-known throughout the entire population. If you take an HIV/AIDS awareness course today, you will be presented with evidence that a large segment of the population still believes that HIV can be spread through minimal contact with the bodily fluids (tears, sweat, saliva, etc.) of an infected person.

As Rush likes to say, AIDS is the only disease with its own set of civil rights. And it is the truth that gay rights activists fought like mad to keep city officials in San Francisco and New York from identifying and tracking HIV+ gay men, and to prevent the closure of bath houses and gay bars frequented by promiscuous gays.

HIV spread like wildfire in the gay community simply because of the rate of promiscuity. That, and the fact that the gay community had already been ravaged by virtually every STD known to medical science. The health conditions in the San Francisco and NYC gay communities mirrored those of the Third World, yet free love was deemed more important than health by radical gay leaders.

Had city officials been able to enact the epidemic control procedures that had been standard for nearly a century, it is a good bet that the number of AIDS victims would have been less than 10% of the eventual total for the 1980's. That's not the fault of Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Mike Huckabee, or any other Republican.

It's also worth noting that in the health care mecca of Cuba, HIV+ citizens are quarantined in special camps. That being the case, it doesn't seem that Democrats have much room to complain about a 15 year old statement from Mike Huckabee.

Don't forget about all the ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Don't forget about all the folks who died from AIDS because they received blood or blood products sold or donated by HIV + high-risk folks. Unfortunately a lot of those folks got infected before we understood the nature of the disease.

Did Huck somehow not get <a... (Below threshold)

Did Huck somehow not get this pamphlet that was sent by the Surgeon General to every single home in America in 1988 that explained how the disease was spread? Yeah, ignorance was still rampant, but there is no excuse for a candidate for political office in America in 1992 to be so woefully uninformed.

What would the state of AID... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

What would the state of AIDS infection in America be today if there was a quarantine in 1992?
I'm not sure I would have agreed with it, but it would have been nice to have a civil debate about it; unfortunately the political and 'special civil rights' crowds made this debate impossible in any meaningful way.




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