May #47 : In Cold Blood

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May 1999

In Cold Blood

Canadian hemophiliacs blame Bill for HIV

Rising above the chimp choir, last February hundreds of Canadian hemophiliacs with HIV gathered in Washington, DC, to blame the First Monkey for slipping them the virus in the early ’80s. Alleging that then-governor Bill Clinton allowed HIV-tainted plasma from Arkansas inmates to be sold to Canadian blood banks, angry Canucks ordered the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the prez’s role in a prison program that they say violated a 1983 FDA ban on the use of blood from behind bars.

The inquiry was prompted partly by Michael Galster, an ex-employee of Health Management Associates, the Arkansas company—run by the chair of Clinton’s re-election finance committee—contracted by the state to collect and sell inmate blood. While prison plasma was pulled from U.S. circulation in the early ’80s, exports to Canada continued for years. At the D.C. demo, Galster accused Clinton of “personally witholding 400 cases of documents” describing HMA’s shipping schemes. In January, 1,000 hemophiliacs sued Canadian officials for $1.1 billion. They plan to file a similar case against the FDA and Arkansas.




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