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Huckabee wanted to isolate AIDS patients

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071208/ap_on_el_pr/huckabee_aids Huckabee wanted to isolate AIDS patients By ANDREW DeMILLO, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 22
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2007

      Huckabee wanted to isolate AIDS patients

      By ANDREW DeMILLO, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 22
      minutes ago

      LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - 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.

      "It is difficult to understand the public policy
      towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of
      civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague
      have not been isolated from the general population,
      and in which this deadly disease for which there is no
      cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead
      of the true health crisis it represents."

      The AP submitted the questionnaire to both candidates;
      only Huckabee responded. Incumbent Sen. Dale Bumpers
      won his four term; Huckabee was elected lieutenant
      governor the next year and became governor in 1996.

      When asked about AIDS research in 1992, Huckabee
      complained that AIDS research received an unfair share
      of federal dollars when compared to cancer, diabetes
      and heart disease.

      "In light of the extraordinary funds already being
      given for AIDS research, it does not seem that
      additional federal spending can be justified,"
      Huckabee wrote. "An alternative would be to request
      that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth
      Taylor (,) Madonna and others who are pushing for more
      AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own
      personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS

      Huckabee did not return messages left with his

      When Huckabee wrote his answers in 1992, it was common
      knowledge that AIDS could not be spread by casual
      contact. In late 1991, the Centers for Disease Control
      and Prevention said there were 195,718 AIDS patients
      in the country and that 126,159 people had died from
      the syndrome.

      The nation had an increased awareness of AIDS at the
      time because pro basketball star Magic Johnson had
      recently disclosed he carried the virus responsible
      for it. Johnson retired but returned to the NBA
      briefly during the 1994-95 season.

      Since becoming a presidential candidate this year,
      Huckabee has supported increased federal funding for
      AIDS research through the National Institutes of

      "My administration will be the first to have an
      overarching strategy for dealing with HIV and AIDS
      here in the United States, with a partnership between
      the public and private sectors that will provide
      necessary financing and a realistic path toward our
      goals," Huckabee said in a statement posted on his
      campaign Web site last month.

      Also in the wide-ranging AP questionnaire in 1992,
      Huckabee said, "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant,
      unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it
      can pose a dangerous public health risk."

      A Southern Baptist preacher, Huckabee has been a
      favorite among social conservatives for his vocal
      opposition to gay marriage. In 2003, Huckabee said
      that the U.S. Supreme Court was probably right to
      strike down anti-sodomy laws, but that states still
      should be able to restrict things such as gay marriage
      or domestic partner benefits.

      "What people do in the privacy of their own lives as
      adults is their business," Huckabee said. "If they
      bring it into the public square and ask me as a
      taxpayer to support it or to endorse it, then it
      becomes a matter of public discussion and discourse."
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