Testing AIDS Drugs on Unwitting Foster Children

On May 4 AP reporter John Solomon reported the unthinkable.AIDS drugs
had been tested on foster care children in Illinois, NewYork, Maryland,
and Texas during the 1990’s.The National Institutes of Health, which is a federal agency under the jurisdiction of the Health and Human services department, allowed states to decide if they wanted to take foster children who were H.I.V. positive and perform an experiment with them. The way the experiment worked was as follows, drugs that weren’t yet considered safe enough for the general H.I.V. positive population were used on these kids. If the kids H.I.V. levels went down after taking the drugs, then they could then sell the drugs to the general population and take credit for healing sick kids. If the children died during the experiments, since they were H.I.V. positive before the experiments were performed, the deaths could either be written off as the H.I.V.naturally progressing to A.I.D.S., “Blood poisoning”, “Pneumonia”, or numerous other explanations, which won’t legally hold the Doctors accountable. While poor kids of all races were used in the
experiments, a disproportionate number of the kids were either African-American or Latino.

After this story was reported on May 4 by John Solomon my hometown paper “The Chicago Sun Times”, also picked up the story. The Sun Times however omitted a very important fact that Ap reported.The name of the Doctor here in Chicago who performed these experiments was Ram Yogev.Ap also put a picture of Yogev’s face on the front page of article.Ap also reported it was Children’s memorial hospital in Chicago that performed the experiments or in politically correct jargon the studies.The fact that the Suntimes omitted Yogev’s name and picture from their reprint of the Ap story, to me is another example of journalists repressing important facts.

While I was angry that Texas, while George W.Bush was Governor, along with my home state of Illinois participated in these atrocities against children, I was even more disappointed to discover that the state of Maryland, also participated, under the supervision of Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Bobby Kennedy’s daughter. As someone who admires Bobby Kennedy, that cut like a knife. I also, was enraged to discover that the National Institutes of Health is under the jurisdiction of the Health and Human Services department. Meaning the federal government officials who gave the states permission to do this were Clinton administration apointees. So I wrote the following letter to the editor to the Chicago Sun Times.The Sun Times won’t run it, but here’s what I said.

I am responding to your May 5 article, “U.S. tested AIDS drugs on 200 ILL foster children.” What makes these facts so disturbing, is that by picking the most vulnerable members of society to use in tests, the Doctors, the National Institutes of Health, and everyone else involved in these tests decided the lives of poor foster kids were worth risking-if it could lead to medical advances for the general population. Since an untested drug can be a miracle cure or can have unthinkable side effects, medical researchers, in sane societies, don’t use human subjects. I think it’s important to remember that it is normally Guinea Pigs and rats not human children who have drugs tested on them. If an untested drug after being tried on a Guinea Pig or laboratory rat has a positive outcome, then the rat or Guinea Pig becomes healthier and the drug is then sold to humans for profit.

If the drug has a negative side effect, animal researchers comfort themselves with the fact that only an animal was harmed in the experiment. Which of course means that the elites of the medical profession, DCFS caseworkers, and the National Institutes of health, are so elitist that they see no difference between the life of a foster child and that of an animal.Also as someone who feels racism is wrong, I find it disturbing that a large number of the kids used in these tests were minority children. While I do not believe our free and Democratic society is the same as a Nazi Germany. It is a fact that in Nazi Germany Jewish children and Gentile children, who happened to have Physical and mental disabilities, were subjected to medical experiments by the infamous Dr.Mengle.

Here in the U.S. H.I.V. positive foster children who are African-American, Latino, or white but poor, are also used in experiments. Any similarity between our free and democratic society and Nazi Germany should frighten all decent people. Apologists for these experiments will of course point to the cases where children got better after being given the drugs. Illinois officials are already exercising spin control by pointing out that their decision to enroll foster kids has brought about a decline in deaths in some cases.However despite those positive instances in other cases testing drugs on foster kids led to an increase in deaths. In some studies there was a decline of infection fighting blood cells and a higher death rate among kids who had the drugs given to them. Since most A.I.D.S.’s deaths are classified as “Pneumonia”, ” Blood Infection”, e.t.c. It may not be possible to legally prove that some of these studies killed children. But nonetheless it’s commonsense that if an H.I.V. positive child after being given an experimental drug sees a drop in infection fighting cells, develops A.I.D.S, and dies, the drug helped kill the kid.

Despite his talk about “A culture of life”, Texas while George W.Bush was Governor was one of the states, besides Illinois, that willingly participated in this horrific conduct. I think President Bush should explain why he allowed this to occur in Texas back when he was Governor, since he has made it clear he wants to be a leader in the area of respect for human life.I also found it to be disappointing that the National Institutes of Health, is under the jurisdiction of the Health and Human services department. Health and Human services is of course a federal agency. Since the studies occurred back in the 1990’s, it was Clinton administration officials, not Republicans, who allowed the states to do this to foster children. I am a loyal Democrat who feels betrayed. I always supported the Democrats, because I believed they had the best interest of poor people, minorities, and children at heart. And then they along with Republican officials participate in something like this. I would expect more from an administration who’s leader claimed to be “America’s first black

Also besides being First lady, Hillary Clinton also played a role in shaping administration policy, especially policies pertaining to children. She had made it clear she wanted to be an advocate for children like Eleanor Roosevelt and use her position as First lady to implement more child friendly policies. So how did this happen under her nose then? I would love an explanation. I also am very upset and disappointed that the state of Maryland, while the late Robert Kennedy’s daughter was Lieutenant Governor, participated in the studies as well. Bobby Kennedy, despite the fact I wasn’t born yet when he ran for President, has always been one of my political heroes. As someone who sees Bobby Kennedy as a last great champion of poor people, minorities, outsiders, and children I am saddened that his daughter would participate in something like this.

In cases where children’s infection fighting blood cells went down after the studies, the Doctors and DCFS officials should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law if the obvious can be legally proven. And even in cases where children got better, the fact the children’s condition improved doesn’t change the fact that these children were treated like laboratory rats by the elites of the medical and social service professions.

ANDREW FREEDMAN can be reached at: andrewfreedman@SBCGlobal.net


















More articles by:


Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
Naman Habtom-Desta
Up in the Air: the Fallacy of Aerial Campaigns
Ramzy Baroud
Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk About the ‘Israeli Model’
Mark Hand
Residents of Toxic W.Va. Town Keep Hope Alive
John Kendall Hawkins
Alias Anything You Please: a Lifetime of Dylan
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigots in Blue: Philadelphia Police Department is a Home For Hate
David Macaray
UAW Faces Its Moment of Truth
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Horace G. Campbell
Edward Seaga and the Institutionalization of Thuggery, Violence and Dehumanization in Jamaica
Graham Peebles
Zero Waste: The Global Plastics Crisis
Michael Schwalbe
Oppose Inequality, Not Cops
Ron Jacobs
Scott Noble’s History of Resistance
Olivia Alperstein
The Climate Crisis is Also a Health Emergency
David Rosen
Time to Break Up the 21st Century Tech Trusts
George Wuerthner
The Highest Use of Public Forests: Carbon Storage
Ralph Nader
It is Time to Rediscover Print Newspapers
Nick Licata
How SDS Imploded: an Inside Account
Rachel Smolker – Anne Peterman
The GE American Chestnut: Restoration of a Beloved Species or Trojan Horse for Tree Biotechnology?
Sam Pizzigati
Can Society Survive Without Empathy?
Manuel E. Yepe
China and Russia in Strategic Alliance
Patrick Walker
Green New Deal “Climate Kids” Should Hijack the Impeachment Conversation
Colin Todhunter
Encouraging Illegal Planting of Bt Brinjal in India
Robert Koehler
The Armed Bureaucracy
David Swanson
Anyone Who’d Rather Not be Shot Should Read this Book
Jonathan Power
To St. Petersburg With Love
Marc Levy
How to Tell a Joke in Combat
Thomas Knapp
Pork is Not the Problem
Manuel García, Jr.
Global Warming and Solar Minimum: a Response to Renee Parsons
Jill Richardson
Straight People Don’t Need a Parade
B. R. Gowani
The Indian Subcontinent’s Third Partition
Adolf Alzuphar
Diary: The Black Body in LA
Jonah Raskin
‘69 and All That Weird Shit
Michael Doliner
My Surprise Party
Stephen Cooper
The Fullness of Half Pint
Charles R. Larson
Review: Chris Arnade’s “Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America”
David Yearsley
Sword and Sheath Songs