Sunday, December 09, 2007

More on Mike Huckabee

Yesterday I posted about Mike Huckabee telling the Associated Press in 1992 that people with AIDS should be isolated. I also said that he probably still does want people with AIDS to be isolated. And what do you know? I was right! From this morning's FOX News Sunday:

Chris Wallace: As you rise in the polls, I don't have to tell you that your past is becoming more of an issue. It now turns out that when you ran for the Senate back in 1992, you called for quarantining AIDS patients, you opposed increased federal funding to find a cure, and you also said that homosexuality was a, quote, "sinful lifestyle that could pose a dangerous health risk." Do you stand by any of that now, Governor?

Mike Huckabee: Chris, I didn't say that we should quarantine. I said it was the first time in public health protocols that when we had an infectious disease and we didn't really know just how extensive and how dramatic it could be and the impact of it, that we didn't isolate the carrier. Now, the headlines yesterday started saying that I called for quarantines, which if you'll go back and read my comments, I did not. I had simply made the point, and I still believe this today, that in the late '80s and early '90s, when we didn't know as much as we do now about AIDS, we were acting more out of political correctness than we were about the normal public health protocols that we would have acted — as we have recently, for example, with avian flu, which — I spent hours and hours, and months, in fact, as a governor dealing with a pandemic plan that we were looking at which called for isolating carriers if they contracted that disease.

WALLACE: But, Governor, forgive me. I don't think that's right. All the way back in 1985, this wasn't political correctness. The Centers for Disease Control back in '85, seven years before you made your statement, said that AIDS could not be spread by casual contact.

HUCKABEE: There was also the case of Kimberly Bergalis, who testified before Congress in 1991. She had contracted AIDS from her dentist [I will interject here. Whether she contracted HIV (not AIDS, nobody contracts AIDS) from her dentist is still up in the air]. We didn't think that there was a casual transmission. There were studies that showed that. But there were other concerns being voiced by public health officials. Now, would I say things a little differently in 2007? Probably so. But I'm not going to recant or retract from the statement that I did make because, again, the point was not saying we ought to lock people up who have HIV/AIDS. I knew people who had AIDS. I had a close friend who died of it in the 1980s. He was a hemophiliac. He contracted it through a blood transfusion. I had other friends of mine, one of whom passed away — he was, in fact, homosexual. But my point is that I was trying to talk about the different public health protocols that we were dealing with. I think what it really does show, though, is that when people are digging back into everything I've ever said and done — and I understand that, it's part of the political process. But what I'm not going to do is to go back and now try to change every story I've ever had. I'm going to simply say that that was exactly what I said. I don't run from it, don't recant from it. Would I say it a little differently today? Sure, in light of 15 years of additional knowledge and understanding, I would. [emphasis mine]

Mike Huckabee probably would change his mind about quarantining people with AIDS. And that's what a quarantine is, dummy, isolating people with diseases. As "would" is in the conditional tense, I'd like to know under which circumstances Huckabee would tell the people that people with AIDS should be treated instead of isolated, or that homosexuality isn't a "abberant and sinful lifestyle" but a normal variation of expressing love. Someone needs to ask that question at the next Republican Presidential debate.

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