He was in charge of the armed forces' response to the HIV epidemic in the 1980s. Among his policies:
- Mandatory HIV testing of all troops, without confidentiality. Positive tests were revealed to the entire chain of command.
- HIV+ troops were kept in isolation and dishonorably discharged when they developed AIDS. . .
- Which meant they were dumped on the street without health insurance and died in poverty. Many committed suicide.
It is time to reject the temptation of denial of the AIDS/HIV crisis; to reject false prophets who preach the quick-fix strategies of condoms and free needles; to reject those who preach prejudice; and to reject those who try to replace God as judge. The time has come for the Christian community — members and leaders alike — to confront the epidemic.The book, by W. Shepherd Smith, Jr., asserted that AIDS was God's judgment against homosexuals.
He fraudulently promoted a worthless HIV vaccine, and got congress to appropriate $20 million to study it. As the linked FP article informs:
The VaxSyn product never worked, and its elevation to top dog status, despite lack of scientific support, was denounced in the Washington Post as “pork-barrel research.” The “MicroGeneSys soap opera,” as Science reporter Jon Cohen dubbed it, dragged on through investigations and scandal into 1994. Eventually, the Army tried the concoction on more than 600 HIV-positive military personnel, concluding they showed “no clinical improvement.” In his 2001 book, Shots in the Dark, Cohen detailed the Redfield saga and showed that he continued promoting VaxSyn and using it on human volunteers with the financial support of Smith’s ASAP long after the Army had concluded it didn’t work.Our health, and our very lives, depend on sound, science based public health policy. This dishonest, bigoted, thieving, religious fanatic lunatic is probably not the right person for the job.