We all know by now just what a terrible person former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price is. The reports of insider trading on pharmaceutical stock, his flagrant misuse of taxpayer dollars to jet around the country at our expense. As a former constituent of his, I must confess a great deal of embarrassment in not paying attention to his shenanigans when he was my Congressman. But he never did or said anything controversial during his 16 years in the House of Representatives, so he kept getting re-elected.
But as bad as Tom Price may have been, his wife Betty just lowered the bar on sheer awfulness. She is an elected member of the Georgia legislature with a medical background (a former anesthesiologist). One would think she would know better. But earlier this week, as reported by Business Insider, she asked during a House study committee meeting about barriers to health care, “what are we legally able to do” to limit the spread of HIV.
According to the Center For Disease Control which is also located in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia has nearly 50,000 people who are HIV positive and is the 2nd largest state for increase of the disease, so this does pose a health issue for the people of Georgia.
But what she really wanted to know, as she admitted, was if it were possible to quarantine people who are HIV positive. Yes, you heard that correctly. She wants to quarantine them. Now Miss Betty didn’t say where she thinks all 50,000 people should be quarantined and nobody asked her either. House arrest maybe?
But her reason for wanting to do so is even more horrendous. You see the problem is that people aren’t dying fast enough. Her exact words were
“It’s almost frightening the number of people who are living that are carriers with the potential to spread.” “Whereas in the past they died more readily, and at that point, they’re not posing a risk. So we’ve got a huge population posing a risk if they’re not in treatment.”
You’ve got a problem because they are living too long? They’re not dying fast enough to make you feel safe? So you want to quarantine them somewhere, God only knows where, so they don’t pose a risk to your genteel suburban lifestyle.
Fortunately, the person leading the study group did not deign to answer Miss Betty’s question and instead proposed the expansion of public heath programs to identify undiagnosed people with HIV to ensure they receive proper care. You know, like what a real human being would do.
But what is truly frightening about this report is not just that some idiotic member of the Georgia State House of Representatives who came up with another looney tunes idea. This woman is married to the man who until recently served as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Could she have persuaded him to adopt this policy towards HIV people in the country? Maybe. Maybe not. But she certainly had the most access to him and her opinions no doubt carried a lot of weight.
Thank goodness we dodged that bullet when Price was forced to resign his position. Unfortunately, the people of the state of Georgia are still stuck with Miss Betty and her total lack of an ounce of human compassion.