President Reagan delivers first major speech on AIDS epidemic in 1987

April 1, 1987: In his speech to Philadelphia doctors, Reagan declares AIDS a public health enemy.
1:57 | 03/31/17

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Transcript for President Reagan delivers first major speech on AIDS epidemic in 1987
Mr. Reagan was in Philadelphia today to make his first major speech about aids ABC's Sheila cast went with him. President Reagan came to Philadelphia planning to address the aids epidemic. He was still at the airport when he was asked what schoolchildren should be taught about aids. I think that abstinence has been lacking in much of the education and one of the things it's been wrong with too much of our education. Is that no kind of values of right and wrong are being taught. In the east and what's taught in the schools is up to parents and local officials not the federal government. Addressing the Philadelphia college of physicians he said American medicine with federal help. Has made faster progress against aids than it did against polio or hepatitis. Battle against aids has been like an emergency room operation. We've thrown everything we have into it. We've declared aids public health enemy number one I'm determined that we'll find a cure for any. He pointed with pride to federal spending on aids research and education up from eight million dollars in 1981 to 416. Million dollars this year. But he had requested only 213 million congress added the rest. The administration has not put it some money behind its rhetoric confiding this aids epidemic. Even as of last year. With 30000 aids cases the administration was asking the congress to cut back on the funding for research to deal with aids. You have to watch over in the next year to see whether they're real money is put into education and whether the emphasis is on prevention of illness or whether it's on. Their view of morality. His critics may seem more to complain about although the president spoke out publicly on aids today he devises do not expected to do it often. And he has not weighed in on the controversial questions of aids testing and the use of condoms. Sheila cast ABC news Philadelphia.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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