Georgia Lawmaker Betty Price Suggests HIV Patients Be Quarantined

Worried that HIV patients aren’t dying fast enough, Georgia Rep. Betty Price suggests that HIV patients be quarantined.

Price, a Republican, and a medical doctor, made headlines last week after suggesting that HIV patients in Georgia be quarantined to stop the spread of the virus that causes AIDS.

Speaking at a public hearing last week concerning the growing and continuing problem of HIV in Georgia, Price asked “What are we legally able to do?” before suggesting the idea of a quarantine:

I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition? So we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise or are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

It seems to me it’s almost frightening, the number of people who are living that are potentially carriers. Well they are carriers, with the potential to spread, whereas in the past they died more readily and then at that point they are not posing a risk. So we’ve got a huge population posing a risk if they are not in treatment.

Many were rightfully appalled at the suggestion that HIV patients be quarantined. For example, The LGBQT advocacy group GLAAD strongly condemned the suggestion. In a written statement, the group’s president, Sarah Kate Ellis, said:

We have come a long way in how we understand and talk about HIV as a nation, and comments like those made by Georgia State Representative Betty Price fly in the face of that progress, and of basic decency.

This language coming from anyone is totally unacceptable, but coming from a medical doctor and a Georgia State Representative it is reprehensible. GLAAD is calling for a full apology for these remarks on behalf of all people affected by this harmful statement.

In an attempt at damage control after the large public outcry over her reprehensible suggestion, Price issued a statement over the weekend claiming that despite her suggestion, she does not really support a quarantine, and that she “made a provocative and rhetorical comment” which has been taken “completely out of context.”

However, watching the video of her remarks, it is not clear at all that she is merely being “provocative and rhetorical;” in fact, it seems like she is being serious in a mundane and bureaucratic fashion.

Price, a Republican, is married to disgraced former Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price, also a Republican, who resigned last month after being caught taking approximately $ 1 million worth of luxurious private flights at taxpayer expense. Reports indicate Rep Betty Price often accompanied her husband on these luxurious private flights funded by taxpayers.

Bottom line: Worried that HIV patients aren’t dying fast enough, Georgia Rep. Betty Price suggested that HIV patients be quarantined.

And so it goes.  

Georgia Rep. Betty Price Suggests HIV Patients Be Quarantined (Image via Screen Grab)
Georgia Rep. Betty Price Suggests HIV Patients Be Quarantined (Image via Screen Grab)
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