Federal Government’s Response to Controlling AIDS Epidemic
Thank you for printing the excerpt from Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan’s speech to the AIDS conference (Commentary, June 26). Ironically, you help to make the very point the protesters felt was so important.
The words were not new. “Emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.” “Devasting impact on our poor and minority communities.” “Culturally relevant and sensitive programs.” “Compassion.” And on and on. The words were as predictable as traffic on the 405 freeway, as unsurprising as a Big Mac.
It’s all too easy to say these words. The point the protesters made was that it will not be until Sullivan acts on those words that they will be given any meaning at all. As the Bible says, the man will be known by his deeds. And the only deed this Administration can point to so far with regard to AIDS is giving the job of health secretary to Sullivan, a bureaucrat, and denying it to the one man with the integrity to demonstrate with his actions that he believed the words he spoke--former surgeon general Dr. C. Everett Koop.