Reagan Sports Red Eyes, Jokes About Health

From Times Wire Services

Sporting a bandaged nose and some redness under his eyes, President Reagan bounced back today from minor skin cancer surgery with jokes about his health and talk of a long-awaited response to the Iran- contra hearings.

Three days after having cancer cells removed from the tip of his nose, Reagan touted economic development in Latin America and held a strategy session with top aides, while spokesman Marlin Fitzwater reported him to be "feeling fine."

Reagan prefaced his remarks at the old Executive Office Building to a group supporting private sector growth in Latin America by telling his audience: "I know you're all admiring my suntan. You too can look like this--just sit out in the sun as long as I did."

With his latest bout with skin cancer behind him, Reagan and his aides will concentrate in the next few days on what he will tell the American people next week in a televised response to three months of congressional hearings into the Iran-contra scandal.

Rather than dwell on the allegations of improper or illegal behavior that have emerged from the testimony, Fitzwater said, "The speech will give the President's general views on the hearings and talk about where we go from here and the agenda of the months ahead."

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