Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Did AIDS Activist Larry Kramer Die of Covid-19? -- UPDATE

UPDATE: Larry's husband confirmed no Covid-19. (How surprised would you be to know that they both used AOL email addresses?)

Also, Chris Hayes corrected himself later in the program (my DVR cut off). 

I feel much better now!

There was quite a bombshell on tonight's episode of "All In With Chris Hayes," when the MSNBC newsman almost in passing mentioned that Larry Kramer had succumbed to Covid-19, something I had not heard hitherto. When the legendary writer and AIDS activist died on May 27, his husband, David Webster, said the cause was pneumonia -- and I vividly remember breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn't related to the current situation. (If you’re anything like Damian and me, the coronavirus angle is the first place you go when just about anyone died these days.)

Kramer -- who took on the Reagan administration when it failed to seriously address the AIDS crisis in the 1980s -- had been living with HIV 32 years and battled various ailments, successfully undergoing a liver transplant in 2001, yet continued to thrive. He was less than a month from his 85th birthday, and I think the queer community collectively felt he just couldn't die while another recalcitrant White House repeated so many of the mistakes he had fought so hard to correct.

I haven't been able to speak with anyone I know who was close to Larry to confirm this news. But if true how sad -- and more than a little ironic -- would it be if Kramer or his survivors had opted to hide this information, perhaps out of shame or anger that it would end this way?

Just a few months ago, as the coronavirus pandemic grew, Kramer was reportedly sheltering-in-his-place in Greenwich Village, working on a timely new play called "An Army of Lovers Must Not Die," about “gay people having to live through three plagues.”

According to the New York Times, the three plagues were HIV/AIDS, Covid-19 and the decline of the human body -- "specifically, a broken leg that Kramer, 84, suffered last April, when he fell in his apartment and lay on the floor until his home attendant arrived hours later."

“The government has been awful in both cases,” Kramer told the Times. “They were terrible with AIDS and they’re terrible with this thing. One wonders what will become of us.”


Will update if I get more information.


Poignant thought, from Jon Barrett.

1 comment:

JP Aragon said...

I had a dear friend who had been fighting cancer for five years he passed away at the height of the pandemic in March. I wonder how may more people have actually died from this thing and nobody is telling us?