John Klar: COVID discrimination similar to AIDS discrimination — and both are wrong

COVID-19 is hardly the first pandemic faced by America. In the mid-1980s, AIDS quickly consumed the American conscience, as did prejudices reminiscent of those being demonstrated — much more widely, and with government and media approbation — today. Especially early in the AIDS crisis, as today with COVID, there was very poor understanding of disease etymology, and false information inflamed fears.

John Klar

In 1987, my best friend’s oldest brother, Donald, was ill with AIDS, and was visiting from San Francisco. At the time, the “science” was unclear as to whether casual interactions could spread the disease, so stigma against gays was particularly strong. Sadly, the current fear by vaccinated people of unvaccinated people — and the willingness to discriminate against them, segregate them, or impose China-like measures to coerce them — is perhaps even less rational, yet more extreme. If vaccines work, vaccinated people have no more reason to fear unvaccinated people than heterosexuals needed to fear AIDS from infected gays in the 1980s. If vaccines don’t work, then vaccinated people are as equally able as the unvaccinated to spread the disease (spiking cases show vaccines just don’t work), and distinctions are irrational and certainly not scientific (if the vaccines make people “less sick,” all the above arguments still apply).

Shortly after Donald arrived from San Francisco, the brothers and my then-wife and I went out to the movies as a get-together. I was 23, had studied microbiology in both high school and college, and had followed the “science” of AIDS carefully, which seemed to show that it was not transmissible except by direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids. Nevertheless, fear-mongering media reports suggested that the disease could become a mass killer, easily transmitted to the uninfected.

Gay people were treated horribly as a result of this unfounded, unscientific fear. Echoing the nasty attacks against unvaccinated people today, many Americans quickly abandoned concern for the civil rights of gays. According to Gallup:

In two separate polls in 1987, roughly half of Americans agreed that it was people’s own fault if they got AIDS (51%) and that most people with AIDS had only themselves to blame (46%). Between 43% and 44% of Americans in 1987 and 1988 believed that AIDS might be God’s punishment for immoral sexual behavior. … Still, a solid majority (78%) agreed that people with AIDS should be treated with compassion. But most Americans (60%) also agreed that people with AIDS should be made to carry a card noting they had the virus, and one in three (33%) agreed that employers should be allowed to fire employees who had AIDS. Twenty-one percent of Americans said people with AIDS should be isolated from the rest of society.

How could people be so ignorant and cowardly, right? But when the authorities trusted to protect against false information are the source of stirring up prejudices, then one must ask — why there is no accountability?

At the movie theater with Donald, my wife and I had not purchased soft drinks (I’ve never much cared for them). During the movie, Donald handed us the monstrous tub of soda upon which he and his brother had been drinking, the salivated straw directed towards us. I knew Donald was gay, and couldn’t care less — I had already lived among many gay communities, including a summer working in Ogunquit, Maine, in 1981. But as Donald looked at us it was clear he was testing us — were we going to treat him as a leper? Were we fearful and ignorant?

My wife and I did not hesitate to drink from the cola. If the disease was easily transmissible, we would have died. Donald was at that point very advanced in the illness. There were no effective drugs available — like pre-vaccine COVID. He died about two years later, blind, weighing less than 100 pounds, without his family, aged 29. His parents were devout Catholic French Canadians, and they rejected him when they learned (due to the illness) of his sexual orientation.

Donald was hardly the only gay person I watched die of AIDS, or other illness. But he was the closest. I am crying as I write this, all these years later, recalling the many tragedies, and how much worse so many deaths were made because of ignorance and prejudice. I tried to fight it. I got A’s in courses in law school called “AIDS and the Law” and “Social Justice.” I represented gay couples pro bono in managing their estates and affairs for end-of-life planning, long before marital laws allowed them the full protections they have now.

I also wrote and published my first commentary ever, about AIDS, in 1987, for The Connecticut Law Tribune. It was titled “Give Addicts Free Needles,” and advocated distributing free syringes in health clinics to prevent the spread of AIDS through the IV-drug-using population to hetersoexuals (who were equally at risk as gays to AIDS). At that time, the main AIDS transmission pathway out of the gay community was largely IV drug users (including prostitutes, an effective vector to the hetero population). Prejudices intruded, including the New York City Police Department announcing they’d arrest anyone who showed up for free needles at a pilot clean-needle program — two prejudices (against gays, and substance abusers) overlapped, putting the general population at risk.

The prejudices of the AIDS crisis (which still persist) were disgusting. A kingpin of AIDS disinformation who inflicted this needless pain on certain groups was Dr. Anthony Fauci, who early-on made this public comment about that disease:

If the close contact of a child is a household contact, perhaps there will be a certain number of cases of individuals who are just living with and in close contact with someone with AIDS, or at risk of AIDS, who does not necessarily have to have intimate sexual contact or share a needle, but just the ordinary close contact that one sees in normal interpersonal relations.

What a reckless, unscientific, statement — like so many he has made during COVID, stirring up unscientific fears of unvaccinated people, while the vaccinated run around giving the disease to each other because the “vaccine protection” doesn’t work.

The left seeks to weaponize this disease to demonize other people. Chasten Buttigieg recently ranted that “AIDS patients died because people feared simply touching them would lead to infection. Families abandoned their own children to be buried in unmarked graves.”

That’s correct — and now the left is doing what they charge the Reagan Right to have done in the 80s: discriminating against innocent people. As one commentator explains:

“Follow the science,” we’ve been told throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. But if we had paid attention to history, we would have known that once a disease becomes newsworthy, science gets distorted by researchers, journalists, activists and politicians eager for attention and power—and determined to silence those who challenge their fear-mongering.

There is a great deal of such distortion occurring in Vermont, as well as silencing those who challenge the fear-mongering. A recent example, striking for its sheer gall, is Elaine Clift’s call to segregate Vermonters in hospitals based on vaccination status. The similarities to the lies and ignorance that caused so much gratuitous suffering for people like my friend Donald during the AIDS crisis must be confronted. This is why I will devote my next commentary to expose Elaine Clift’s “deeply selfish and dramatically dangerous” ideas for what they are — deranged histrionics and ignorant fear-mongering.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/KGBO

10 thoughts on “John Klar: COVID discrimination similar to AIDS discrimination — and both are wrong

  1. For a real eye opener, read RFK Jr book “The real Anthony Fauci”. It is definitely not a pleasant read but it should be read by all. He is corrupt & evil and has perfected his “game” through AIDS. He should be arrested for crimes against humanity for what he has done & what he continues to do.
    And discrimination, no matter how it’s presented, is always wrong. Jesus did not run from the unclean lepers, he healed them. And until we all acknowledge our complicity in the world we live in, myself included, we will always have more of the same. We are being played, with fear & hate, so that we will be divided. We need to respect others, whether we agree or not, and stand up against the corruption and tyranny in our government.
    That being said, let’s elect John Klar for governor of Vermont in November 2022

    • Clarification: These CDC guidelines cover ‘antivirals’ only, not access to vaccines, not access to hospital care, not access to Emergency Rooms. And the specific ‘antiviral’ treatments considered here are only for certain monoclonal antibody therapies.

      It makes sense that the CDC, and others, recommend monoclonal antibody therapy for unvaccinated people BEFORE administering it to the vaccinated. If the CDC said vaccinated individuals should receive the treatment with equal or preferred priority, it would be admitting, indirectly at least, that the vaccines are less effective than the monoclonal antibody therapies. And we can’t have that, can we.

      “Monoclonal antibodies should not be considered a replacement for vaccination.”

      With regard to whether or not monoclonal antibodies should have been considered a replacement for vaccination…. we’ll see. As we will ultimately learn the comparative effectiveness of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin – not to mention other preventative strategies (Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Melatonin, etc.), or the relatively limited side-effects of these established therapies when compared to the long-term side-effect of multiple experimental vaccination injections on our immune system that have yet to be determined.

      Caveat emptor. Caveat emptor.

      • Dang!

        Here I thought we were finally getting discrimination in our favor– but when you think about it, it IS.

        Just like all those self-chosen unvaccinated who get taken into the ER’s and ICU’s on a first-come, first-served basis and make it necessary for people who have have always made rational choices about their health to die in the hallways.

  2. The most dangerous thing is that this writer cannot conceive that she might be a ‘useful idiot’ of the Marxists, and her failure to connect the Holocaust and her own familial history to what is happening now is frankly, appalling.

    That kind of willful blind and cultivated ignorance (well dedjucated on the eastern seaboard, and DC denizen before moving to Vermont) is the danger – “I won’t change my mind no matter what!” And having a pen to inculcate other Vermonters makes her a (ignorant) proponent of Marxist ideologies while being ignorant of the aims of that ideology: to rip us apart from each other, to remove God from our lives, to take down the family, and eschew tradition… all of that, she sees as “building back better.”

    You can’t cure willful ignorance.

  3. Thank you John Klar for this poignant story about Donald, and how it relates to NOW, and how Dr Fauci dealt with it then..some 30ish years ago…Not much change I would say, and I wonder off hand if he profited from the then?

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