"Address Presented before the Republican Leadership Task Force on Health Care, Washington, DC" [Reminiscence]
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Koop, C. Everett
Reproduced with permission of C. Everett Koop.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
AIDS, the Surgeon General, and the Politics of Public Health
Address Presented before the Republican Leadership Task Force on Health Care, Washington, DC (June 10, 1987)
AIDS Lecture June 10, 1987
Address by C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD
Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Presented before the Republican Leadership Task Force on Health Care
Rayburn House Office Building
June 10, 1987
It was two days since I had last spoken on the subject of AIDS before a public audience.
On a number of occasions during my two terms as Surgeon General, I was asked to present briefings to either the Republican
Leadership or the Democratic Leadership or the Republican or Democratic Caucus about this or that. This was one such occasion
and the audience was the Task Force on Health Care of the Republican Leadership. Those who spoke before such gatherings were
well aware that the audience would be largely staff members of various congressional members rather than members of the Senate
or the House of Representatives themselves. Such was the case here, although some with particular interests did turn up because
of the novelty of the occasion and the subject.
This talk was essentially a primer and contains nothing that was not contained in the previous lecture given on June 8th,
which refers back to two previous lectures of similar content. I did close this presentation before the Republican Leadership
with the statement that I had not made before in exactly the same way and I repeat it here.
"Our only hope as a nation . . . and as a civilization . . . is that we Americans will do
our part to stop the spread of AIDS . . . that we will protect and save the lives of
people at risk, including unsuspecting young people, as part of the total complex
of human, caring, interpersonal relations.
That's a tall order. And there are many cassandras around who say that it can't be
done . . . or should not be done.
But they're wrong.
The think what keeps me going these days is that I truly think the grownups of
America will eventually agree on these as being the tasks that really matter . . . for
themselves and for their children . . . and that they'll set about to do them.
And my personal hope is that I'll still be available to help."
There will be no index and therefore there is only the introduction and the title of the lecture available here.