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Irony of a Reagan medical center

June 07, 2007

Re "New UCLA hospital is dedicated," June 5

Twenty-six years ago, on June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control reported that five young men in Los Angeles had been treated for a form of pneumonia usually seen only in severely immuno-suppressed patients. These mysterious cases were the first in what would eventually become an epidemic -- AIDS. As the need grew for leadership and compassion on the part of the federal government, President Reagan responded with neither. It is extremely ironic, therefore, to see a new UCLA medical center named in his honor.

No amount of whitewashing on the part of UCLA or the donors who gave money so that the facility would bear Reagan's name can hide the fact that his years of inaction caused the needless deaths of thousands of people.

GREGORY A. DOBIE

Sherman Oaks

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In two terms as governor, Reagan approved not a single public works project, university, hospital, water system or freeway that would have improved the quality of life for all Californians. He was bent on saving money for his rich friends. Now those friends deny history in favor of mythology in exerting enough pressure to get Reagan's name on projects he would have vetoed as governor.

PAUL H. WANGSNESS

Burbank

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