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RUSH: I mentioned a moment ago, Dr. Fauci and AIDS. Now, many of you… This is 40 years ago. So many of you were either not old enough to remember it, and many of you were not even alive. Some of you were not even thoughts in your father’s sperm back in 1980. And I want to tell you some of things that happened back then. Because I was in the thick of it. I was doing a commentary, news commentaries in Kansas City and then on to Sacramento.

When AIDS first hit, it was frightening. It was scary because it was a death sentence. Everybody who got HIV, in the early years, perished. And then we learned how it was primarily spread. It was spread through gay male sex. Well, we couldn’t have that. We couldn’t have that. So immediately a PR campaign began to say, “Hey, hey, hey, hey! It’s gonna spread to the general population lickety-split. Everybody’s gonna get it.”

That didn’t happen. So then — get this — there was some people who suggested (because everybody who got it died) a quarantine of everybody who tested positive for it — and, boy, oh, boy, did that die a quick death. There was no way there was gonna be a quarantine. A quarantine was bigotry. A quarantine was homophobia. A quarantine was racism. A quarantine was xenophobia.

If they could have blamed it on Trump, they would have blamed it on Trump. There was no way anybody was gonna get quarantined. There was no way anybody was gonna get stigmatized. There was no way. It wasn’t gonna happen. And there wasn’t. There wasn’t a quarantine. And there were all kinds of attempts to frighten the general population, that it was gonna spread to everybody, not be contained within a certain segment of the population — and yet it remained contained.

The primary way it spread to other elements was through tainted blood transfusions and dirty, tainted drug needles. But it did not spread via heterosexual sex. There might have been a few cases where it was thought that it spread through heterosexual sex — and, boy, did they zero in on those. By “they,” I mean the media and the left. They zeroed in on that. “See? See?” But contrast it with today.

The moment a quarantine was suggested, everybody went along with it. Damn straight. It happened. Not quarantine, social distancing, whatever it was, the equivalent of a quarantine. Ninety-eight percent of the people, according to Bill Bennett, who come down with the coronavirus recover from it. If you came down with HIV in the 1980s, sadly, it was a death sentence — and I remind you that there is no vaccine for HIV today.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, and there’s no vaccine for it today. The stigma has vanished. It is treatable now. There are protocols and ways to limit it and prolong life and limit the danger. But there’s not a vaccine. You cannot inoculate people, to this day, from HIV. But I just… I remember when there were common-sense proposals to quarantine everybody who tested positive.

Oh, there was no way. It wasn’t gonna happen. “Ain’t happening, bud. We ain’t gonna fall for this, ’cause we know what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to wipe out our population. We ain’t gonna go for it.” They didn’t go for it. It didn’t happen. Instead, you know who got blamed for it: Ronaldus Magnus.

Ronald Reagan received the bulk of the blame for the spread of HIV because he didn’t talk about it. And they claimed that that proved that Reagan was a homophobe — and ’cause Reagan didn’t talk about it, it meant he didn’t care about HIV or the people it affected. So they blamed him as though Reagan talking about it could somehow scare the disease into going away.

I just want you to know that ’cause you weren’t alive or a thought back then. You weren’t old enough. Contrast it with the way and the ease with which the quasi-quarantines have been implemented today. On a virus that is different in scope from HIV. Now, this takes me back to the Bill Bennett column. Again, it was published yesterday at Real Clear Politics.

And I’m sure that we have already linked to it at RushLimbaugh.com. Bill Bennett served in the Reagan administration. He was secretary of education. He has been a drug czar for our government. So this paragraph is especially interesting. He said, “Let’s go back…” This is from his piece yesterday. “Let’s go back to drug overdoses for a moment.

“The president spoke a great deal about them on the campaign trail in 2016, and has held several summits and briefings on the problem since his presidency. We who have been involved in these issues for decades have been accused of waging an irrational ‘drug war.'” Irrational drug war! You know what the most irrational drug war premise was? Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No.

Nancy Reagan said, “Just Say No” to drugs, and everybody mocked her, everybody laughed at her, everybody made fun of her, everybody said it was pointless, everybody said it was worthless — just like they said abstinence was useless in stopping pregnancy, teen pregnancy. (chuckling) Can you imagine? Abstinence, useless? Abstinence is the only thing (chuckling) guaranteed to stop teen pregnancy. The only thing.

And yet it was said to be a distraction and unrealistic. So Bennett says, “We who have been involved in these issues for decades have been accused of waging an irrational ‘drug war.’ Did we ever contemplate curbing the constitutional freedoms of nearly 300 million Americans?” No. Did we ever demand the U.S. economy be shut down to curb the demand for drugs? No.

“Did the media ever publish or emblazon its television coverage with panic-inducing death counts?” No. “Did we ever suggest shelter-in-place orders to clean the streets of illegal drug activity or shut down industries causing unemployment to skyrocket and retirement savings accounts to plunge? Of course not…” We didn’t do any of the things that we’re doing now.

And they told us we were running an irrational war with the things we did do. “Fighting this problem,” the drug problem, “the country was able to keep its wits, even as we who tried to do something about it were denounced for taking draconian measures to save lives. Turns out we had no idea what draconian was. When the president linked that problem to the coronavirus, as he did this past week, the media turned away and criticized him.”

Remember on one of the briefing days last week the president brought the military in to explain how we’re gonna continue to run interdiction programs keeping drugs out of the country. Remember the reaction to that? “What the hell! What? This is so… (sputtering) I mean… Coronavirus! The president wants total waste of the military to want… What is he doing?”

And I know Trump. Trump was showing we can do many things at one time, that we’re not going to be totally focused and thus directed against and away from other challenges. And there was the media criticizing him for doing things that might result in keeping drugs out of the country. “[W]e know a few things about the causes and effects of the shutdowns — and they will exacerbate all kinds of other deaths mentioned above.

“As the Wall Street Journal recently put it, ‘The economic and social-science literature is replete with studies that document the harm to people from recessions and economic hardship — including higher rates of suicide, [drug use], alcoholism and domestic violence.’ … Yet,” despite all of this that is known and despite the economic destruction self-inflicted, “the elites, from Bill Gates down, tell us we need a nationwide shutdown for 10 weeks or more.

“Others are pushing in that direction, too, putting pressure on various state and federal officials for even more coercion. Perhaps such pushing has its merits in saving some lives, but it will likely take more, and will kill the heart and soul of our country, which is dependent on the economic engine of the rest of us. The consequences of what this country is putting itself through simply cannot be understated.

“They are affecting the low-skilled and blue-collar workers the hardest. And the solutions the federal and state governments have ordered for the problems they have created — from stimulus checks to loans to abatements and reprieves — are already causing bureaucratic confusion, claims of unfairness, delays, and pitting Americans against each other.

“And now there is no end in sight for even more massive and unprecedented spending.” I was asking myself last night, in the Trump Organization — over the course of the many years of the Trump Organization — I wonder how many task forces the president put together to solve problems that came up.

Or did he just assemble his management people, listen to the data, and make a decision? How many task forces? I doubt there was one. I bet there wasn’t one. “Are you breaking with President Trump?” No. No. No. Don’t misunderstand. I’m just… I’m scared for everybody in a lot of ways, for a lot of reasons.

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