When something happens to you, like a good, dear friend James Brady being shot and suffering, your husband having Alzheimer's, it can't help but change your perspective, and I wish more people would pay attention to those who have gone through these issues.
The other point that I wanted to make too is, it may be hard for your viewers to remember how difficult it was for people to talk about HIV/AIDS back in the 1980s. And because of both President and Mrs. Reagan — in particular Mrs. Reagan — we started a national conversation when before nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it. And that too is something that I really appreciate with her very effective, low-key advocacy. But it penetrated the public conscience and people began to say, "Hey, we have to do something about this too."
Journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted, "this is offensive, revisionist bullshit."
Dan Savage, a prominent LGBTQI activist and advice columnist, wrote in a post for The Stranger:
That is a fucking lie. You could only say the Reagans started "a national conversation" about AIDS if terrified, desperate, and dying people screaming "WHY AREN'T YOU SAYING OR DOING ANYTHING ABOUT AIDS!" at the Reagans counts. It does not count.
[...] We watched our friends and lovers die by the tens of thousands while Nancy and Ronnie sat silently in the White House.
At the New Republic, reporter Gwyneth Kelly added:
Just how “low-key” was Nancy’s advocacy? So low-key that most people would characterize it as not advocacy at all. After the disease’s first cases were identified in 1981, President Reagan waited until 1987, almost at the end of his second term, to speak publicly about the disease. His communications director, Pat Buchanan, described AIDS as “nature’s revenge on gay men.”