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Mayo Official Heads Reagan Panel on AIDS

June 25, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Reagan today named Dr. W. Eugene Mayberry, chairman of the Mayo Clinic's board of governors, as head of a new 11-member national commission on AIDS that will not seek out homosexuals as members.

Mayberry is a specialist in endocrinology but has not been involved in research on acquired immune deficiency syndrome, said presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater.

Ten other people to be named to the commission within the next 10 days will be specialists in medicine, epidemiology, virology, law, insurance, education and public health, according to an executive order issued by Reagan.

Gary Bauer, Reagan's assistant for policy development, indicated it was unlikely that anyone would be appointed as a representative of the gay community.

Sex Habits Not a Factor

"I would be very surprised if an Administration opposed to making appointments on the basis of race or sex would agree to make an appointment based on bedroom habits," he said in a brief interview.

Fitzwater said the question of appointing a gay representative was "not a relevant issue" and that the Administration would get the best people possible. He said Reagan will appoint people based on "categories of expertise but not sexual preference."

"We're not picking people from those kinds of categories," he told reporters.

Mayberry is chief executive officer of the Mayo Foundation in Rochester, Minn. Since 1976 he has been chairman of the clinic's board of governors.

The commission was charged by Reagan to advise the government "on the public health dangers, including the medical, legal, ethical, social and economic impact" of the virus, now called human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, that is believed to cause AIDS.

Reagan directed that the commission give him a final report in one year.

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