As the AIDS epidemic spread, activists criticized the Reagan administration for ineffectively responding to the disease. In particular, they were concerned that the administration was underfunding AIDS research and obstructing prevention efforts by opposing sex education. These concerns were exacerbated by Reagan’s public silence about the disease until 1987, when he made his first speech on the subject. Later that year, Reagan yielded to pressure from Congress and organized the Presidential Commission on the HIV Epidemic. However, scientists and AIDS activists were skeptical of the recommendations the commission’s appointed members would provide to the President due to their lack of expertise. For the third in a series of demonstrations that ACT UP organized against the commission, Donald Moffett made this poster of Reagan, with words that concisely communicated the group’s thoughts about the President’s effect on AIDS patients.
The Political Scandal Must be Investigated!
54% of perople with AIDS in NYC are Black or Hispanic… AIDS is the No. 1 Killer of women between the ages of 24 and 29 in NYC… By 1991, more people will have died of AIDS than in the entire Vietnam War… WHat is Reagan’s real policy on AIDS?
Genocide of all Non-whites, Non-males, and Non-heterosexuals?
SILENCE = DEATH”
“AIDS and Money: / Healthcare or Wealthcare? / Decisions Made / Disregard the Sick”
“THOUSANDS OF / NEW YORKERS MAY BE / DYING IN THE STREETS / STATE’S HIGHEST COURT FINDS CITY LEGALLY / RESPONSIBLE”
“WOMEN AND AIDS: / OUR GOVERNMENT’S / WILLFUL NEGLECT”
“N.Y. HOSPITALS IN RUINS; / CITY HALL TO BLAME”
“KOCH FUCKS UP AGAIN”
“Inmates with AIDS: / Inadvertent Political Prisoners”
“What About People of Color? Race Effects Survival”