Don’t sell Ronald Reagan’s blood

Craig Shirley | President, Shirley & Banister Public Affairs

With today’s news came the disgusting spectacle of someone trying to sell the blood of President Ronald Reagan.

It seems that doctors at George Washington University Hospital took a sample of the Gipper’s blood in 1981, while Reagan was there recovering from a gunshot wound he suffered at the hands of madman John Hinckley Jr. Later, for some strange reason, a nurse asked for the vial of blood. For an even stranger reason, the hospital gave it to her.

Now that the nurse has passed away, her son is essentially holding the blood of Ronald Reagan hostage, trying to auction it off to the highest bidder.

Auctioning off a dead person’s blood is atrocious, especially when that dead person is a former president. It’s reminiscent of the sick fascination with Abraham Lincoln’s cadaver after Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.

Ronald Reagan’s blood belongs to Mrs. Reagan. And while the vial might belong to George Washington University Hospital, the hospital has a moral obligation to get the vial back and turn it over to the Reagan Foundation, where Mrs. Reagan has decreed all the president’s personal effects should be kept.

Craig Shirley is a Reagan and Gingrich biographer, a New York Times bestselling author, a First Reagan Scholar at Eureka College, and the president of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs.

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