The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
JIM LEHRER: Good evening. Leading the news this Friday, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the U.S. military can keep the Persian Gulf open to shipping. Albert Hakim said he is not yet willing to release $ 8 million in Iranian arms sale profits. And the unemployment rates stayed at 6.3% last month. We'll have the details in our news summary in a moment. Robin?
ROBERT MacNEIL: After the news summary, Judy Woodruff continues our special coverage of the Iran-contra hearings, with extensive excerpts from the testimony of Albert Hakim. Then we complete our week long coverage of the AIDS conference, with analysis by three leading participants. We close with an essay by sports writer Mike Lupica on the pitcher Dwight Gooden's battle with cocaine. News Summary
LEHRER: The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today that the navy can keep the Persian Gulf oil lanes open, but it might cost more American casualties. Admiral William Crowe testified before the Senate Arms Services Committee about administration plans to put U.S. flags on Kuwaiti tankers and give them naval protection.
Adm. WILLIAM CROWE, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff: The JCS believes that we can carry out this mission. Of course, there are no absolute guarantees that such an operation will be casualty-free, or that Iran will not escalate the sea war, which will present us with further difficult choices. On the other hand, we have a capability to keep the oil line to Kuwait open, to assure our Arab friends of our commitment, and to keep the risks low.
LEHRER: Senator John Glenn, just back from the Gulf regions, said today that the White House was considering a preemptive strike against Iranian missiles. The White House refused comment. Pentagon officials told the Associated Press that that was one of many contingency options being studied, but added the officials don't support it and don't think it's viable.
The Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Husseini Rafsanjani said Iranian forces must be ready to fight America in the Gulf, though he thought the chances of the two countries' clashing were remote. But he warned Arab states that Iran would attack any bases and ports they let U.S. use.
MacNEIL: Albert Hakim finished his testimony before the Iran-contra hearing today. The Iranian-born businessman was a partner of former Air Force Major General Richard Secord. Eight million dollars in profits from their Iranian arms sales remain under Hakim's control. Was he willing now to return that money to the U.S. Government? He was asked that question by Chief Senate Counsel Arthur Liman.
ALBERT HAKIM, Secord Associate: Mr. Liman, I have so many questions about this money and the enterprise in my mind that you cannot imagine. So not being able to clarify those questions in my mind, I don't think I am in a position to do so.
ARTHUR LIMAN, Chief Senate Counsel: Well, there's one acid test -- whether you consider the money yours, your partners, or whether you consider it money that belongs to the United States. And that's whether you're prepared to deed it over. I take it the answer is you're not.
Mr. HAKIM: You're right.
LEHRER: Hakim also testified he and Secord told the Iranians during negotiations for the Lebanon hostages that President Reagan would help Iran topple the President of Iraq, and that the United States would fight the Soviets if they invaded Iran. He said these were negotiating ploys.
MacNEIL: Canada today announced an ambitious military buildup in its first comprehensive defense review in 16 years. The Conservative government pledged a minimum 2% real growth in defense spending over the next 15 years. The biggest new element proposed is the purchase of 10 to 12 nuclear powered submarines to patrol the northwest passage through the Arctic Sea. Defense Minister Perrin Beatty said the submarines were needed because of Soviet military threat in the Arctic, and the United States' refusal to acknowledge Canada's claim to sovereignty over the passage. We have a report from Bill Casey of the CBC.
BILL CASEY, CBC: The Defense Minister told the House his new policy will ensure that Canada's armed forces will be ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.
PERRIN BEATTY, Canadian Defense Minister: The forestructure of the Canadian forces will be modified over time to meet the requirement for a well balanced free ocean navy, including the acquisition of nuclear powered submarines and a second batch of Canadian patrol frigates.
CASEY: As expected, Beatty is proposing Canada acquire 10 to 12 nuclear powered submarines over the next 20 years, at a cost between $ 7 and $ 8 billion. He also recommends Canada drop its commitment to send a brigade group to northern Norway. Instead, those forces will be consolidated in an emergency, with Canada's troops already stationed in Southern Germany. The minister also sees a higher profile for Canada's reserves. He says the government will reduce the distinction between the active and reserve forces and increase the number of reservists from about 51 to 90,000.
MacNEIL: The government estimated that its defense proposals will cost the equivalent of $ 135 billion American dollars over 15 years.
LEHRER: The unemployment rate is still 6.3%. That was the April figure, and it held there in May, the Labor Department announced today in Washington. 6.3 is the lowest unemployment has been in 10 years.
In another government action today, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a crackdown on airliner carry on baggage. The FAA said airlines have become lax at complying with regulations that restrict the amount of carry on baggage and its proper storage onboard.
MacNEIL: Finally in the news, Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder said she is giving serious consideration to running for President. The Colorado Democrat, who is the senior woman in the U.S. House, was National Co-Chairperson for Gary Hart's campaign, which ended abruptly last month. That freed her to consider a run of her own. That's our news summary. Ahead on the NewsHour are the Iran-contra hearings, summing up the AIDS Conference, and an essay on pitcher Dwight Gooden. Iran-contra Hearing
MacNEIL: First, our nightly account of the Iran-contra hearing. Judy Woodruff has the NewsHour coverage. Judy?
JUDY WOODRUFF: At the witness table again today was Iranian American businessman, Albert Hakim, the partner of General Richard Secord, in the Iran and contra arms sale deal. Among other things, Hakim was pressed on the profits earned from those schemes and of the details of his negotiations with the Iranians over an arms-for-hostage swap. Specifically Chief Senate Counsel Arthur Liman wanted to know about the secret nine-point agreement Hakim reached with some Iranian intermediary during a meeting last October in Frankfurt, West Germany.
ARTHUR LIMAN, Chief Senate Counsel: Now, if you look at it, it says on one of the points, "As I said in Brussels, we will fight Russians and Iran in case of invasion with or without the government of Iran'sassistance." Who's the "I?" Is that Secord?
ALBERT HAKIM, former Secord Associate: It says "U.S," Mr. Liman.
Mr. Liman: That's "U.S."
Mr. HAKIM: "U.S. will --"
Mr. LIMAN: The United States will fight the Russians, not --
Mr. HAKIM: That's my understanding, sir, yes.
Mr. LIMAN: And the "I" who is saying this to the Iranians is General Secord?
Mr. HAKIM: Yes, sir.
Mr. LIMAN: And were you present when he was committing to the Iranians that we would go to war with the Russians if they invaded Iran?
Mr. HAKIM: The way I recalled this, Mr. Liman, it was a bargaining method that General Secord used to get the attention of the Iranians.
Mr. LIMAN: If you go down to the next sentence, that's also in Secord's handwriting. Am I correct?
Mr. HAKIM: Yes, sir.
Mr. LIMAN: And I'm also correct that Secord wrote, and said to the Iranians, "We will cooperate to depose the leader, the President, of Iraq." Is that what he was saying?
Mr. HAKIM: As I mentioned, he left these with me to use as ideas for patching up things.
Mr. LIMAN: Was it you who were saying that we will cooperate to depose --?
Mr. HAKIM: No, General Secord wrote this.
Mr. LIMAN: Okay, so that -- and it was General Secord who also said it, wasn't it? Did he say it to the Iranians, or did he not?
Mr. HAKIM: I think it was more than General Secord -- if I recall correctly, it was the attitude of the total delegation.
Mr. LIMAN: By that, you mean Col. North.
Mr. HAKIM: As it was Mr. Cave and General Secord.
Mr. LIMAN: Now, is the "we" -- "We will cooperate --" is that the enterprise or is that again the United States of America?
Mr. HAKIM: My understanding is that it is the U.S.
Mr. LIMAN: Did you find it surprising that General Secord, a private citizen, and a Lieutenant Colonel, and a retiree, an annuitant, as they call them, of the CIA, could without any Congressional approval, or anything more than you knew of, make these kinds of representations to the leader of the Iranian delegation?
Mr. HAKIM: My impression, Mr. Liman, was -- from the very beginning -- that the President of the United States was supporting this mission -- it was cleared with him. And in my mind I didn't go further than the President's authority. And I didn't judge the policy of the President.
Mr. LIMAN: Mr. Hakim, you placed the conversation with General Secord, in which he purported to foreswear, or waive, his interests in the profits as taking place in or around the summer of 1985. Do you recall that?
UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: I don't believe that's his testimony.
Mr. HAKIM: I don't believe so.
Mr. LIMAN: Well, when do you place it?
Mr. HAKIM: I believe I testified during the deposition early '86, if I'm not mistaken.
Mr. LIMAN: And is it also true that from time to time you and General Secord would go to CSF and inspect some records there?
Mr. HAKIM: That's true.
Mr. LIMAN: And would you look at records that showed the bottom line of these different accounts?
Mr. HAKIM: That's correct.
Mr. LIMAN: And among the records that you looked at that showed the bottom line were Coral and Sidecap.
Mr. HAKIM: Yes.
Mr. LIMAN: And is it also correct that at no time during those inspections General Secord said to you, "Take this money out of Coral and put it back into your own account."
Mr. HAKIM: You're right.
Mr. LIMAN: Exhibit 29A reflects a withdrawal which was charged to General Secord's account, the $ 31,817.00 to Kalid Rasheem. Are you familiar with that transaction?
Mr. HAKIM: Yes, I am, sir.
Mr. LIMAN: And does that transaction reflect the purchase of a Porsche automobile by General Secord?
Mr. HAKIM: Yes, it does.
Mr. LIMAN: And that was a car to be used for personal use, not for the contras. Correct?
Mr. HAKIM: That's a right conclusion.
Mr. LIMAN: If you look at the next documents, it shows a check of $ 52,500. Do you recall at all being asked by General Secord to disburse this $ 52,500 from the Coral account to him?
Mr. LIMAN: I cannot remember that.
Mr. LIMAN: Well, maybe I can refresh you. Can you recall any occasion when he told you he wanted to buy a plane for his personal use? A Piper Seneca?
Mr. HAKIM: Yes.
Mr. LIMAN: And do you recall disbursing money from Coral for that purpose?
Mr. HAKIM: I remember the transaction. I do not recall how CSF handled it.
Mr. LIMAN: Now, finally, there is now presently, as I understand it, in Merrill Lynch in London some $ 6.67 million.
Mr. HAKIM: This is the result of our investigation of yesterday, yes.
Mr. LIMAN: And is that money blocked?
Mr. HAKIM: Yes.
Mr. LIMAN: And there's another million four in bank accounts that were not distributed as profit of the enterprise in Switzerland. Is that roughly correct?
Mr. HAKIM: That's also frozen, yes.
Mr. LIMAN: Are you prepared to deed over this money to the United States Government?
Mr. HAKIM: Mr. Liman, I have so many questions about this money and the enterprise in my mind that you cannot imagine. So not being able to clarify those questions in my mind, I don't think I am in a position to do so.
Mr. LIMAN: Well, there's one acid test -- whether you consider the money yours, your partners, or whether you consider it money that belongs to the United States. And that's whether you're prepared to deed it over. I take it the answer is you're not.
Mr. HAKIM: You're right.
HAKIM's LAWYER: Mr. Liman, excuse me, I think I ought to object --
Mr. LIMAN: Well, I think he's answered the question --
Mr. HAKIM: It's not a question of "acid test." This is -- there are commitments, it's a business. You have to look at it, to see who are the people who are involved. Definitely, the U.S. Government is one of the elements. What I'm saying is it's not a question of doing a heroic thing and passing any acid test. It's a business situation and should be treated as such.
WOODRUFF: Several Republican members of the committee zeroed in on the disclosure over the past few days that Hakim had set aside a $ 200,000 account for former White House aide Oliver North and tried to channel money to North's wife. Senator James McClure and others suggested that taking care of North this way would have left North obligated to Hakim and Secord.
Sen. JAMES McCLURE, (R) Idaho: If, as you have previously testified, you were interested in the wellbeing of Col. North's family and you did not wish to compromise him in any way to get him on the hook, why would you suggest a tactic that would almost certainly have been brought to his attention by his wife, in having Mr. Zucker contact Mrs. North?
Mr. HAKIM: Why did I do that? I think my answer -- I answered that question, that I felt close to North and his family, I'd put the wheel into motion, and if it would have gotten off the ground, they had the option of accepting or refusing it.
Sen. McCLURE: Mr. Hakim, I've heard your testimony on that, and frankly I find the account to be incredible. I just -- much about your testimony I think if very forthright, very candid, is very believable. But this part I find incredible. So incredible to me that I can't help but ask you the question. It seems to me that you know Col. North's wife would have told him of Mr. Zucker's approach, so that I can only conclude that your approach to Mrs. North through Mr. Zucker was intended to compromise Col. North. Do you have any comment?
Mr. HAKIM: Yes, sir. The -- with regard to compromising Col. North, I totally disagree with that conclusion. With regard to your reasoning about Col. North's knowing about this, I believe I testified that I find that unusual if he didn't know, and I also testified that General Secord knew about this. So the missing link that you're looking for probably could have been closed through Gen. Secord, not directly through me.
Rep. MICHAEL DEWINE, (R) Ohio: With all of these facts, it seems to me the logical conclusion that what you were trying to do with Ollie North was to influence him, you were trying to have him beholden to you, that you were trying to have him literally in your hip pocket.
Mr. HAKIM: I assure you that in no way I wanted to compromise Ollie. That would have been the last thing that I would have done. And looking at it coldbloodedly, when it got to a point that they needed me to open a second channel, I did not need to do any favors to Ollie. I testified to that yesterday. These thing happened at a time that emotional issues were involved, and when I opened the second channel, I really -- from the business point of view -- I was in control. They needed me. I had the entree to Iran. If they wanted to -- they were unhappy with the first channel, and so on. I'm trying to also add to this business rationale. That it -- really it was the human end of this, and not the business motivation for this set aside.
Sen. WARREN RUDMAN, (R) New Hampshire: Did you not realize at the time with Mr. Zucker, who understands U.S. laws and ethics, that even a good faith -- and I will take your human values for what you state them to be -- even a good faith effort to help Col. North would put him in tremendous jeopardy?
Mr. HAKIM: I agree with you, sir. I do agree with you. But the intent counts. We made a try. We made an attempt. We did not succeed. I didn't think that the attempt itself could be harmful.
Sen. RUDMAN: You put Col. North in a position which he in good faith or Mrs. North may not have thought of. And I say this sincerely. Listening to a scheme which put them in a position, and if they had not reported this to the proper authorities, then it's put them in extreme jeopardy. Didn't anybody give that any thought when this started?
Mr. HAKIM: I'm afraid not.
Sen. RUDMAN: It just seems to me, Mr. Chairman, and I'll conclude, that one of the unintended -- and I emphasize unintended -- effects of this getting private businessmen involved with U.S. officials and U.S. military, is the possibility of very corrupting and very corrosive effects on our government. And that is why, of course -- although this investigation may cost more than the diversion, it'll be worth every dime, Mr. Hakim.
Mr. HAKIM: I agree with you, sir.
Sen. RUDMAN: Thank you.
Sen. PAUL SARBANES, (D) Maryland: In May, McFarlane refused to transfer a very limited amount of arms, compared to what's contained in your nine-point proposal in return for two hostages. Now, North left because he couldn't get all of the hostages. That was one of the sticking points, is that correct?
Mr. HAKIM: That's correct.
Sen. SARBANES: You negotiate an agreement in which one and a half hostages were going to be gotten, and sent it to Washington.
Mr. HAKIM: Yes, sir.
Sen. SARBANES: And shortly thereafter you get approval for that arrangement.
Mr. HAKIM: Yes, sir.
Sen. SARBANES: And that approval came within handful of days before the election -- is that correct?
Mr. HAKIM: I believe so.
Sen. SARBANES: And in fact, preceding off of that, you were able to bring out one hostage two days before the election.
Mr. HAKIM: That's correct.
Sen. SARBANES: Now, is that an example of the political pressure that was at work in this matter that you refer to in your deposition?
Mr. HAKIM: Yes, sir.
Sen. DANIEL INOUYE, (D) Hawaii: During the past two days panel members and citizens in the audience have chuckled over some of your responses. They found your testimony fascinating and exotic. But I must confess to you that I found it rather sad. To be told that here we had an American citizen -- not just one, but two -- not cleared to handle certain classified material, sharing the secrets of this nation, secrets that even we here have been denied. But then we find an American General, who should know better, American Lieutenant Colonel, who everyone suggests is second only to the President of the United States, committing this country, its power and majesty, to defend Iran without even consultation with the Congress of the United States, is just unbelievable. And then, to come out that we will participate in deposing a Chief of State of a country -- and we're supposed to be neutral in that area. That these (unintelligible) concern you?
Mr. HAKIM: When I look back, Mr. Chairman, I share your opinion. At the time, it didn't occur to me.
WOODRUFF: The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee, Republic Warren Rudman, revealed today that last November on the day before Attorney General Meese disclosed that profits from the arms sale to Iran had been diverted to the Nicaraguan contras, General Secord's attorney, Tom Greene, disclosed the diversion to a Justice Department official. Rudman said it is certain the committee will be seeking more information on that conversation, in which Attorney Greene apparently said the diversion was Hakim's idea. The committee resumes hearings next monday.
MacNEIL: Still ahead on the NewsHour, where are we and where is society going with the AIDS epidemic? And an essay on pitcher Dwight Gooden and drugs. AIDS Impact
LEHRER: This has been the week of the Third Annual International Conference on AIDS. The Washington meeting drew 6,000 scientist and other experts from throughout the world, and it drew much attention to the scope of the tragedy and disease has brought, and will continue to bring, to millions of people throughout the world. We close out our week of coverage tonight with a look at where the matter stands now. And where it can and should go from here. First, the medical side of the question with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He oversees the government's efforts in developing treatment for AIDS, among many other things. Dr. Fauci, welcome. There were no big medical breakthroughs announced at the conference this week. Why not?
Dr. ANTHONY FAUCI, Director, National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases: Well, because science works in small steps. And I think what we saw at the conference was a consolidation and integration of a lot of small, but important, scientific advances that were discussed and criticized. And ideas were interchanged among the scientists. So it really was important. But doesn't constitute what we generally think of as a breakthrough or something very, very exciting.
LEHRER: Was anything -- did anything come up at the conference from a medical point of view that was news to you -- that would say, "Oh, my goodness, this is new and significant."
Dr. FAUCI: Well, not really because most of what had been said we had gotten through the grapevine. But the important thing is that the scientific presentations are able to be put before a critical audience so that you can have the kind of peer evaluation and peer view. So there were not surprises. But the important information was openly discussed, which is one of the purposes of this bringing in all of our international collaborators together.
LEHRER: Let's go through what is known from a medical point of view tonight as we speak at the end of this conference. What is the -- in simplest possible language -- what is the consensus about what the cause of AIDS?
Dr. FAUCI: I don't think there's any question now that the cause of AIDS is a retrovirus which is now called human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV-1. That's very clear. That virus has been isolated. It has been cloned molecularly. It has been totally characterized with regard to its genetic function, etc. That's clear.
LEHRER: We don't know where it comes from.
Dr. FAUCI: Well, we have ideas from whence it came regarding ancestral viruses. It very likely came from an ancestral virus present in the monkey -- probably the African green monkey from Central Africa. What the mutational events that occurred, how long that took to occur, we're not sure. But from a molecular standpoint, it looks very much like it comes from an ancestral monkey virus.
LEHRER: What is the most common treatment at this point for AIDS?
Dr. FAUCI: Well, treatment -- there's only one proven effective treatment for prolonging lives of individuals who are infected with the virus and have serious infections, such as penumocystitis carinii pneumonia. And at the present time that's AZT, or Azidothymidine. There are other treatments that are in the stages of being tested for their efficacy, which are showing some early promise, but nothing that has been proven in a scientific study to be as effective as AZT yet. But we're hoping that we'll see more of that.
LEHRER: From a medical point of view, somebody that's diagnosed in this country -- or any other country -- as having AIDS, what happened to that person?
Dr. FAUCI: Well, it depends. If you're talking about the untreated prognosis. If someone has an opportunistic infection and they don't get any of the treatment that we're talking about -- one can treat the opportunistic infection and treat some of the secondary cancers that these individuals get -- but for the most part, it's a relentless deterioration of their body's defenses unless we come in with some intervention. AZT is one of them, and that's the reason why that drug is now available for individuals with serious HIV infections and these opportunistic infections.
LEHRER: In this country, what is the life expectancy after catching AIDS?
Dr. FAUCI: If you present with an opportunistic infection -- like penumocystitis carinii penumonia, the mean survival is about 36 to 40 weeks. If you present with Kaposi's Sarcome alone, it's measured in a year and a half --
LEHRER: I don't know what that means.
Dr. FAUCI: Capuci Sarcoma is one of the secondary or opportunistic cancers that individuals get. And that's due to a breakdown in the body's defenses. If a patient presents with Capuci Sarcome, then the mean duration of life in that person is about a year and a half to two year. Some may even go on to three or four years.
LEHRER: How does AZT affect that?
Dr. FAUCI: What that does, is that suppresses the virus's replication so that the body's defenses, which are being suppressed, start to regenerate themselves. And that prolongs the time that that individual can go on with a meaningful life.
LEHRER: Where do matters stand now for finding a vaccine for AIDS?
Dr. FAUCI: there's been a lot of activity and discussion at this meeting this past week about vaccines. Where we stand now, there are a number of what we call candidate vaccines. Which are particular proteins -- some by recombitant DNA technology, which have been isolated and have been injected into small animals -- some in monkeys and some in chimpanzees -- to look to see if it elicits an immune response -- namely the body makes a reaction against it. These will probably be used in what we call Phase I testing at the end of 1987, beginning of 1988. An interesting thing that broke in the press before that was announced, was Dr. Zagury, who did the first studies of vaccine in Africa -- small study of a number of individuals. He reported on his results. There was nothing definitive about that. But it was just interesting to hear the results.
LEHRER: Finally, let me ask you this, Dr. Fauci. Whether we're talking about a vaccine, or a more effective drug, do you expect -- based on what you know -- do you expect us all of a sudden one day to pick up a newspaper or look at a wire machine and see there's been a huge breakthrough? Or is it going to be a series of small steps over a long period of time?
Dr. FAUCI: I would be extraordinarily surprised if we pick up a newspaper one of these days and see breakthrough on the front pages of a headline. What it's going to be, it's going to be steady increments of knowledge, building blocks of knowledge with drug development and testing. So that one can see a progression over a period of time to the ultimate goal which we all want -- is a safe and effective therapy and a vaccine. But that will take time, and it's not going to happen in a spurt, or an Eureka, but in small increments.
LEHRER: Thank you. Robin?
MacNEIL: Next we hear from two conference participants who both devote most of their professional energies to the AIDS issue. They are Mathilde Krim, of the AIDS Research Foundation, and Ronald Bayer, Co-Director of the AIDS Program for the Hastings Center, a medical ethics think tank. Dr. Krim, anything to add on what's been learned up 'til now as a result of this conference, medically on AIDS?
Dr. MATHILDE KRIM, AIDS Researcher: I think that the progress made by basic scientists has been excellent and steady, and that, as Dr. Fauci said, there will be a vaccine in years to come, and we will have identified a number of drugs -- not only synthetic drugs, but also natural substances -- that will be used in the treatment of AIDS. Where I think things have been disappointingly slow is in the organization of the very large clinical trials that are needed, to evaluate the drugs we have already identified as potentially useful. This is an enormous organizational effort. There are logistical problems to conducting it. The disease and the needs to develop new treatments for new diseases caught this country by surprise in the institutions we have to do this work -- including at the NIH, specifically the institute under the direction of Dr. Fauci. There is the enormous need for developing the capabilities of this institute, to do its job, to carry out its very significant responsibilities towards the American public. To develop effective treatments for it.
MacNEIL: Dr. Fauci said there is only one proven treatment -- AZT. Others are being tested. Do you think that should move faster and more comprehensively to get other drugs that might be effective into wider tests? Is that what you are --
Dr. KRIM: Yes, I hope it could be done, because the public has such a great need for it. The Congress has made additional funds available for this job to be done as fast as possible. And particularly we need as much as possible to expand the variety of drugs that we need to test. Because some of them can be used in conjunction with each other. When they have different mechanism of action, it can be hoped that they will help each other and should be used together. We need to do this kind of tests as soon as possible.
MacNEIL: Is it your position that there are substances known, for instance, to you and other researchers, which, if the NIH were organized to do as rapidly as you want, could not be treating AIDS patients?
Dr. KRIM: We really don't know. That's the question. There have been drugs that have been reported to be effective, but in noncontrolled trials on the basis of anecdotal evidence. This is not good enough, because it's also very important that people should not take into their hands their own treatment, and use ineffective drugs. That happens today in the case of several drugs -- are used by patients who go to buy them in Mexico, for example -- or in fact produce them in labs that are not authorized to do this kind of production. And self-administer this drug. They may be in doing so missing other things that are better for them. It is essential that the NIH verifies the efficacy of these different drugs.
MacNEIL: Dr. Bayer, given that there is no cure at the present, and no vaccine yet, is the proper message getting out to the American public about the state of the disease and what they can do about it? In other words, are the educational efforts working, in your view?
Dr. RONALD BAYER, Ethnics Researcher: Let me take it a step back -- Dr. Fauci and Dr. Krim both pointed to the meeting in terms of its scientific contributions as a period of consolidation of our knowledge. I think on the social and social policy level, as well as the ethical level, the conference really witnessed a quite contrary trend, a sense of despair about a breach within the highest levels of our government about how to proceed. For more than a year, enormous strides have been made in arriving at a consensus about what an appropriate approach to prevention, through testing, through counseling, through education, might begin to look like.
MacNEIL: A consensus in the medical --
Dr. BAYER: In the medical profession, but stretching across a wide variety of public health professionals, as well as non-medical professionals working in this area. The publication by the Surgeon General -- his report of last October -- the report of the Institute of Medicine, and I think most critically, a report issued at the end of April by the Centers for Disease Control about the appropriate mechanisms for screening, testing. And that all came to a screeching halt this week, I think. The President's speech on Sunday, the Vice President's speech to the Conference on Monday, all suggested that those who have devoted themselves to trying to develop a program and a strategy for interrupting the spread of this virus, have been brushed to the side by those whose primary concerns I think are political. The Vice President made it very clear at the conference. He said the decision will be made by the politicians. I think he chose his words carefully.
MacNEIL: Do you agree with that characterization, Dr. Krim, that they felt brushed aside by the political considerations?
Dr. KRIM: Yes. I think we have seen politicians making pronouncements without consulting with their own public health and medical advisors.
MacNEIL: On this program last night, Surgeon General Koop, whom Dr. Bayer's just praised and agreed with, said that he agreed with the president's presentation, and had not changed his own opinion.
Dr. KRIM: May I clarify this? Dr. Koop told me personally that he finally agreed with the President's position because the President assured him that the word "routine" meant still optional, voluntary. While Monday morning, Mr. Gary Bauer, Domestic Advisor to the President, explained in public that "routine" in federal language meant "mandatory." I don't know what Dr. Koop thinks today about it.
MacNEIL: Can I ask you about this. With all the new emphasis and all the new publicity, is there any danger of overemphasis -- of producing a panic or hysterical reaction in the public. Let me quote you William Safire in the New York Times -- said the other day, "In five years' time, deaths from AIDS are still going to be 1/4 of the deaths from cancer." Now, is there a danger of people being so worried about AIDS that the reaction is hysterical and out of control and producing political and other results that are unfortunate.
Mr. BAYER: There is always that possibility. Especially since we are in a moment in the projectory of this epidemic where the numbers are really are going to mount very radically in absolute terms. It has taken us six years to get the first 35,000 cases, and if the CDC's projections are correct -- and they look like they will be correct -- those first 35,000 cases will look like small potatoes, though there's been enormous suffering, in the next few years. I think there's a way in which a society can respond hysterically with undue anxiety in the face of mounting numbers, if it doesn't have a sense of proportion, if it doesn't have a sense about what reason dictates in terms of social policy.
Dr. KRIM: You see, this is why the whole field of education on AIDS is so important, because we want the public to be informed. The public should be concerned, but should not get panicky. And this can be accomplished only through education. And therefore our disappointment that the highest representatives of this administration have not mentioned education as one of the measures this government should consider to control the epidemic of AIDS -- particularly when you think that this is an epidemic that could be stopped by appropriate self-control. If each individual practices risk reduction behavior, we could stop the epidemic.
MacNEIL: Thank you. Jim?
LEHRER: Dr. Fauci, do you share the sense of despair about the government's involvement in this?
Dr. FAUCI: No, not at all. The government is moving very rapidly. Whenever you have a situation such as we have with AIDS, with such a devastating disease, it always appears that people aren't moving fast enough. I take the viewpoint for myself and my institute and (unintelligible) that in fact we're not moving fast enough so that we can spur ourselves on to do more. But for example with regard to drugs -- the comment that Dr. Krim made -- We have 25 protocols active in our treatment evaluation units, and the curve of patients who have gone into it has risen very, very rapidly, where there were delays early on for a number of reasons, which I think we have discussed here, has now really exponentially gone off -- we have about 600 patients in protocol -- (unintelligible) protocol in July that'll add another 15 of them --
Dr. KRIM: Six hundred patients is very few patients really -- (unintelligible)
LEHRER: Let's go to the question of panic. You all say that everybody shouldn't panic. There shouldn't be hysteria.
Dr. KRIM: No, we didn't say everybody should panic. They should not panic.
LEHRER: That's what I said -- shouldn't. And yet there was a poll done recently that showed the medical professionsls -- one quarter of the medical professionals in this country don't want to deal with AIDS patients. There are stories every day about professionals in the fire, and police, and medical professions protecting themselves, and the question keeps coming up -- you're driving along the road. There's an accident in front of you. You jump out and you see somebody bleeding to death. Would you help them, or could that person possibly have AIDS, and maybe just keep driving next time. What do you say to those people, Dr. Bayer?
Dr. BAYER: Let me speak first about the medical profession. We've been blessed in the United States really with having until this epidemic put behind us the problem of infectious disease, by and large. The medical profession in some ways has become accustomed to dealing with situations in which they are never at risk. I think what this epidemic is going to do is going to test the moral fiber of the medical profession, of all the health care professions, in terms of their obligation, their obligation as professionals to care for those -- even where are risks, minimal as they are. We wouldn't tolerate a fire department with firemen who said, "I'm not going into that fire. That's scary." Or a policeman who said, "I'm not going to that alarm. I might get in trouble." Doctors and nurses and health care professionals must understand that there are some risks, and that they have to care for patients despite those risks.
LEHRER: But my questions -- I put to you, Dr. Fauci -- how can you expect the man or the woman in the street not to be afraid and panicked by AIDS if the health professionals are panicked and afraid of AIDS.
Dr. FAUCI: Well, I don't think you can generalize and say the health professions are panicked and afraid. I think what we need more of its education. If you would look at the risks of getting AIDS, even from contamination by the blood of an AIDS patient, directly inoculating it with a needle -- the chances of that occurring are less than a fraction of a percent. There have been hundreds of incidents of contamination. You read about the very, very rare occasions in the newspapers, like recently last month, the three health care workers -- but that's a very rare event. Nothing has changed about AIDS. It still is not transmitted by casual contact. So the general person in the street needn't worry about getting AIDS by the kinds of casual interactions that one has with individuals -- be in the workplace, in the street, or what have you. That hasn't changed.
Dr. KRIM: And even case of those three nurses, I think, is still open to question.
LEHRER: These are the three nurses who got AIDS from blood splattered on them.
Dr. KRIM: Yes. Because in any case like this, one has to rely on the statements of the person implicated. You never know whether they really tell the truth. What -- they said they were not active sexually, but who knows. Yesterday we had a dentist who became infected. Now it was immediately supposed that he became infected because he didn't wear a glove when he took care of his patients. But dentists have sex, too. And he may not have been interested in disclosing his personalbehavior.
LEHRER: Dr. Bayer, if you were king, and you could do one thing about AIDS, what would it be?
Dr. BAYER: I would begin to spend massive resources on educating the young men and young women in the ghettoes of our country about how this disease is transmitted.
LEHRER: How? How would you educate them?
Dr. BAYER: I would speak bluntly and directly in the schools --
LEHRER: Who? Who would do it?
Dr. BAYER: Teachers have to do it. Health educators have to do it. The -- I couldn't as king -- I couldn't command --
LEHRER: I'm assuming you can command everything.
Dr. BAYER: I think every social institution in this country concerned with life and the wellbeing of our community has to take on the task. But the primary force behind that educational effort has to be that of the government. And it has to be the kind of education that is going to make us extremely uncomfortable. It's going to be the kind of education that's going to speak directly about sexuality among teenagers, about homosexuality among teenagers, and drug use among teenagers. There is a tragic epidemic in the black and hispanic ghettoes of this country that is really --
LEHRER: They're being ignored? Is that what you're saying?
Dr. BAYER: Very, very little is being done. Very little is being done. The tragedy of heterosexual transmission in this country is the tragedy of black and brown people. And the tragedy of perinatal transmission, the tragedy of AIDS babies is a tragedy of black babies and hispanic babies. Too little has been done.
LEHRER: Why doesn't somebody do something about it, Dr. Krim?
Dr. KRIM: I think we should ask our government why not. Our top politicians, our president why this is not done.
LEHRER: It's the politicians fault? But you said you don't want the politicians involved, and now you're blaming them for not being involved.
Dr. KRIM: No. Only they can call the shots. They can give the orders. In that sense they're involved. They should do what their public health experts tell them to do -- advise them to do.
LEHRER: But, Dr. Fauci, someone suggested this problem is too serious to be left to you health professionals. It must be taken over by society and the people that actually run society, which are the politicians.
Dr. FAUCI: What I think -- what we're saying is that the advice, the scientific advice, the public health advice should come from the scientists, and then the power of the political process could make that move and make things happen.
LEHRER: And they have not done that?
Dr. FAUCI: I'm not saying they've not. I think that things can improve and hopefully they will improve. What we do need is the advice of the scientists, the advice of the public health officials to be followed.
Dr. BAYER: We're going to have to make a decision whether the preservation of life and the interruption of this epidemic is more critical than some moral values -- I won't call them moralistic -- than some moral values. I take life and the preservation of life to be the highest moral value. That means that we're going to have to speak to teenagers who engage in sexual activity about how to protect themselves. If that offends the Catholic Church, or if it offends Orthodox Jews, or some Protestants, we cannot -- we must listen to those complaints, we must listen to those objections -- but the government speaking for the community at large, must make sure that that education gets through to those children and those young men and women, regardless of opposition of those groups that find it morally offensive.
LEHRER: We have to leave it on that note. I don't know whether it's upbeat or downbeat, but whatever it is, we leave it there. Doctors three, we thank you very much. Kicking the Habit
MacNEIL: There is a sellout crowd at New York Shea Stadium tonight. Fifty-four thousand fans are there because Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets is back to pitch his first major league game of the season. The 22-year-old star pitcher has been sidelined until now for drug rehabilitation. Drug abuse is an increasingly common hazard for professional athletes. Last year Lawrence Taylor, star linebacker for the New York Giants, revealed a similar problem. Our sports essayists Mike Lupica looks at lessons learned from these superstars.
MIKE LUPICA: It seems the most consistent performer in sports this year is not a player or a team. It's a substance -- cocaine. In an era when winning teams are universally unable to repeat, cocaine has no trouble at all repeating. It wins in football, it wins in basketball, it wins in baseball. This year, all the experts predicted the New York Mets were a lock to win the World Series. Couldn't miss. It doesn't look that way anymore, as they struggle to just maintain a 500 record. However, cocaine has continued its winning ways. This spring it claimed the team's brightest star, pitcher Dwight Gooden. And last year, cocaine claimed another New York superstar, New York Giants' linebacker Lawrence Taylor. The two make quite a pair -- young, strong, the best in their respective sports. The cocaine didn't care. It did to Gooden and Taylor what opposing players only dream of -- it brought them to their knees.
DWIGHT GOODEN: I know I made a mistake. And I regret it a lot. But I must turn the page once again, because life goes on.
LUPICA: The easiest thing to do in cases like this is to shake your head in bewilderment and say, "How were we to know?" But in fact, we did know. We just chose to look the other way. Sports writers covering the New York Mets last year knew something was wrong with Dwight Gooden. So did I. It was more than the fact that his fast ball wasn't what it used to be. But like everyone else, the fans, his team mates, the rest of the media, I chose to ignore the signals Gooden was sending -- signals which clearly spelled out he was a young man in trouble.
December 1985 -- he's pulled over by the police in Tampa. In his care they find a gun, $ 4,000 in cash, and a bag of baking soda, an ingredient often used to cut cocaine. A month later Gooden fails to show up to receive a Cy Young award, the most prestigious pitching honor in baseball. April 1986, Gooden is involved in an argument at La Guardia Airport. The dispute is over a rental car. October 1986 -- after bad performances in the playoffs series, Gooden misses the Mets World Series parade. He overslept. December 1986 -- Gooden is stopped again by the Tampa police. This time he is arrested after fighting with them.
This year during spring training, Gooden requested drug tests. He tested positive. His cries for help are finally heard, and the team puts him into the Smithers Center for alcoholism and drug treatment in New York. But Gooden's case is not unique. There were drug rumors about Taylor, too. It was clear to all that his play during the 1985 season was not up to his high standards. But in Taylor's case, some people chose not to look away. His coach Bill Parcells and some of his friends say he had a problem. Taylor listened. And he did.
Taylor went into rehab early last year, came out to have one of his best seasons, leading the Giants to a super bowl win, capturing the league NBP honors for himself. But there's more to these two athletes' case studies and the fact that we shouldn't look the other way when we see an athlete in trouble. We also have to put to rest the myth that drugs are bad, but drinking is okay. Gooden's cocaine problems supposedly began with beer drinking. Fancy that, everybody says. But the fact is there are millions more alcoholics in this country than drug addicts. And yet in sports drugs are tolerated. Somehow we even find them lovable.
One of baseball's greatest heroes, Babe Ruth, was a notorious drinker and reveller. He would have been known simply as a drunk it it had not been for the matter of 714 home runs. Then there was Mickey Mantle. The Mick was famed for hitting prodigious home runs while suffering from equally prodigious hangovers. It is part of his legend. Of course, one of the great perpetuators of the sports and drinking myth are the Miller Light television commercials. With distinctive humor and self-deprecating style, they work mightily to keep alive the macho concept of when the game is done, the good times begin.
[commercial for Miller Light]
LUPICA: Somehow the camera always managed to miss the jock in the corner who's getting so plastered on beer that it's only a natural progression to take a hit of cocaine, too. All we hear is that this beer of famous ex-athletes tastes great and is less filling. While it's easy to point fingers of blame, it's harder to suggest solutions. Some say education is the answer. But athletes know that drugs and alcohol are harmful to them. Bill Parcells says he's never had a player yet come up to him and say, "Coach, I think drugs are really good for me." They just choose to ignore the danger.
But it's important that when players or anyone else deny reality that we don't go along with them. Taylor's comeback attests to the fact that those with drug and alcohol problems will listen if people care enough to speak out. What we can learn from Gooden's case is maybe mandatory drug testing is not such a bad thing. It was his willingness to take a drug test that got Gooden back on track. Whether Gooden will come all the way back like Taylor is far from certain. What is certain, though, is this: Dwight Gooden will not be the last.
LEHRER: Again, the major stories of this Friday. Admiral William Crowe, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress the United States Navy is prepared to keep the Persian Gulf shipping lanes open. But he said it could probably not be done without suffering casualties. Businessman Albert Hakim, a partner of Richard Secord in the Iran arms sales, declined to return $ 8 million in profits to the U.S. Government. And the nation's unemployment rate held at 6.3% for the second month in a row. Good night, Robin.
MacNEIL: Good night, Jim. That's our NewsHour tonight, and we'll see you on Monday night. I'm Robert MacNeil. Good night.
- The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
- Producing Organization
- NewsHour Productions
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- NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This episode's headline: Iran-contra Hearings AIDS Impact; Kicking the Habit. The guests include In Washington: Dr. ANTHONY FAUCI, Nat. Inst. Allergy/Infectious Diseases; Dr. MATHILDE KRIM, AIDS Researcher; Dr. RONALD BAYER, Ethnics Researcher; REPORTS FROM NEWSHOUR CORRESPONDENTS: JUDY WOODRUFF; MIKE LUPICA. Byline: In New York: ROBERT MacNEIL, Executive Editor; In Washington: JIM LEHRER, Associate Editor
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- Social Issues
- Global Affairs
- Military Forces and Armaments
- Politics and Government
- Copyright NewsHour Productions, LLC. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode)
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- Moving Image
Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: NH-19860605 (NH Air Date)
Format: 1 inch videotape
Identifier: NH-19860605-A (NH Air Date)
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- Chicago: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” 1987-06-05, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 27, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-6t0gt5g20w.
- MLA: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” 1987-06-05. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 27, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-6t0gt5g20w>.
- APA: The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-6t0gt5g20w