Back then, there were a couple of things that were going on that caused the activist community to galvanize and try to gain attention. Number one, the first administration of Reagan didn’t take this as seriously as they should have. Secondly, even as we got into understanding that it was a virus and we were developing drugs, the rigidity of the scientific community, the regulatory community, and even, in many respects, the budgetary approach towards something was not commensurate with the reality and the potential for this catastrophe that was unfolding for us.  And it triggered a sea change in both the scientific and the regulatory community, and I was sort of in the eye of that hurricane because I was so involved and devoted to doing something about this horrible thing that was happening that I became a very visible person.

I was testifying hundreds of times.  I mean literally hundreds of times.  The total now, after the 34 years — the 33 years — I’ve been director, I’ve probably testified before Congress more than anybody, purely because of the longevity of what I do.  But there was constant that — in the newspapers, with interviews all the time.  So my face was the face of the federal government.  Most scientists would do their thing and not be visible.