Dr. Gregory Herek, Professor of Psychology at the UC Davis and a vocal critic of the ex-gay movement, blogged his thoughts recently on Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s controversial comments on isolating AIDS patients as a public health risk:
When Huckabee expressed his opinion in 1992, scientific research had identified the human immunodeficiency virus as the cause of AIDS and it was well understood that, unlike many other communicable diseases, HIV could not be transmitted through casual social contact.
. . .
There was no credible medical or public health argument in support of quarantining people with AIDS in 1992. Rejecting calls for quarantine and similar punitive measures wasn’t a matter of being “politically correct.” Rather, it was based on sound evidence about the nature of HIV.
What is most troubling to me is that Governor Huckabee stands by these statements today. From a recent AP story:
“I still believe this today,” he said in a broadcast interview, that “we were acting more out of political correctness” in responding to the AIDS crisis. “I don’t run from it, I don’t recant it.”
That the Governor so adamantly chooses to ignore the scientific evidence on this matter to this day frightens me. It ought to frighten all of us. A President should be guided, above all other things, by rationality.