A Reagan blood auction has the former president's charitable foundation in an uproar. A British auction house is currently selling a vial of the Republican leader's blood to the highest bidder.
The Reagan blood auction could not have been possible without the 1981 assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Jr., who shot the President in front of the Washington Hilton Hotel. The specimen is alleged to be from his hospital visit after his wound, and Reagan supporters have condemned the auction, calling it "craven."
"If indeed this story is true, it's a craven act, and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation executive director John Heubusch said in a statement.
The seller, who remains anonymous, wrote on the PFC auctions web page that the blood had been taken by his mother, who worked for Bio Science Laboratories in Columbia, Maryland- the place that tested Reagan's blood after the shooting. Now that his mother has passed, he is free to do with the vial what he wishes: invoke Reagan's love of the free market to make money.
"I had served under Pres. Reagan when he was my Commander in Chief when I was in the ARMY from '87-'91 and … I was a real fan of Reaganomics and felt that Pres. Reagan himself would rather see me sell it rather than donating it."
The seller also claims that he spoke to the Reagan National Library, who in turn contacted the Secret Service, FBI, and the National Archives, who were all uninterested in the blood. After being asked to donate it, he turned the offer down, deciding to make money instead.
Heubusch, however, isn't taking the auction lightly. It ends May 24, and he has already started a full investigation of how exactly the blood came to be in civilian hands.
"We've spoken to GW Hospital and are assured an investigation as to how something like this could possible happen is underway," he charged in a statement. "Any individual, including a president of the United States, should feel confident that once they enter into the care of a medical system their privacy and rights are held inviolable."
The auction is promoted on the website of Peter Fraser Collectibles and conducted by PFC Auctions. Bids have come in over $9,500 so far.