Assemblyman Keith Wright (70th A.D., Central & West Harlem) joined together with community activists and concerned parties in front of New York City Administration for Child Services (ACS) Headquarters to speak out against the horrific usage of children under ACS custody as "guinea pigs" in experimental HIV/AIDS medical research. These primarily minority children, who live in Northern Manhattan, were taken from broken homes under the protection of ACS only to be subjected to experimental and damaging medications.
"I was always under the impression that ACS’s main mission was to serve as an intermediary through which families could be strengthened through positive monitoring, training and guidance. ACS cannot take on the role as a contractor looking to market our children to the highest pharmaceutical bidder," said Wright.
This information was made public by the British Broadcasting Company in a recent documentary. With the experimental drugs being tested on the most vulnerable portion of the population, it took many years for this disturbing series of events to reach the national scene. "This 21st Century ‘Tuskegee Experiment’ on our children is both deplorable and unacceptable. As the New York State Assemblyman who represents the very population of minority children that have been exposed to such exploitation, I am both outraged and outdone," said Wright. The Tuskegee Experiments were forty year long medical experiments on poor African-American sharecroppers in the Deep South that led to many deaths because of inhumane and nonexistent care for syphilis.
Assemblyman Wright and other leaders demanded that a full investigation be made into this damaging treatment, as well as full responsibility being taken at the highest levels possible. He also cited steps to be taken to prevent such gross misconduct in the future. "I thought that the government had learned from the mistakes of the past, but obviously this is not the case. We need to ensure that these blatant abuses of human rights never, ever, happen again," said Wright.