To the Editor:
Michael Fumento’s diatribe against what he terms the “AIDS establishment” smacks of elitism [“AIDS So Far,” December 1991]. In support of his assertion that the AIDS epidemic has been overblown, he says, “A mere 727 [as of August 1991] whites, middle-class or otherwise, are listed as having gotten the disease through heterosexual contact—less than one-half of 1 percent of the total caseload.”
The message implied by Mr. Fumento’s article is that 200,000 cases of a fatal, sexually-transmitted, incurable viral disease is not an epidemic worthy of attention because the majority of cases occur in marginalized individuals. I wonder if Mr. Fumento has recently visited urban hospitals such as those in Harlem and the Bronx that are overwhelmed by AIDS patients. I doubt that his attitude toward such a disabling and degrading disease would remain so callous.
About the Author