Reagan would ultimately address the issue of AIDS while president. His remarks came May 31, 1987
Then who was this guy impersonating Reagan at a press conference on September 14, 1985?
"President Ronald Reagan: Taking Questions
Q: Mr. President, the Nation's best-known AIDS scientist says the time has come now to boost existing research into what he called a minor moonshot program to attack this AIDS epidemic that has struck fear into the Nation's health workers and even its schoolchildren. Would you support a massive government research program against AIDS like the one that President Nixon launched against cancer?
The President: I have been supporting it for more than 4 years now. It's been one of the top priorities with us, and over the last 4 years, and including what we have in the budget for '86, it will amount to over a half a billion dollars that we have provided for research on AIDS in addition to what I'm sure other medical groups are doing. And we have $100 million in the budget this year; it'll be 126 million next year. So, this is a top priority with us. Yes, there's no question about the seriousness of this and the need to find an answer.
Q: If I could follow up, sir. The scientist who talked about this, who does work for the Government, is in the National Cancer Institute. He was referring to your program and the increase that you proposed as being not nearly enough at this stage to go forward and really attack the problem.
The President: I think with our budgetary constraints and all, it seems to me that $126 million in a single year for research has got to be something of a vital contribution.
Q: Mr. President, returning to something that Mike [Mike Putzel, Associated Press] said, if you had younger children, would you send them to a school with a child who had AIDS?
The President: I'm glad I'm not faced with that problem today. And I can well understand the plight of the parents and how they feel about it. I also have compassion, as I think we all do, for the child that has this and doesn't know and can't have it explained to him why somehow he is now an outcast and can no longer associate with his playmates and schoolmates. On the other hand, I can understand the problem with the parents. It is true that some medical sources had said that this cannot be communicated in any way other than the ones we already know and which would not involve a child being in the school. And yet medicine has not come forth unequivocally and said, ''This we know for a fact, that it is safe.'' And until they do, I think we just have to do the best we can with this problem. I can understand both sides of it. "
National Institute of Health has it on video (3rd one down): LINK