His remarks reflect much of the conservative nature of the AANS membership. Robert Gates’ long and distinguished career spans eight presidents. He was recently US Defense Secretary. It was an interesting talk from a man no longer in government who could speak his mind without fear of losing his job. So he spoke rather candidly about his own opinions and could highlight his own ideas so often subverted by political appointment. In fact he’d have been fired over many of his remarks which were so different from the administrations under which he served.
As for Hunt and Wilson, I know and have met William Hunt and Charlie Wilson. I trained with Bill’s son David. At the time I trained Wilson’s program in San Francisco and Ransahoff’s at NYU competed as the premier training programs in the US. And when we presented our data indicating early CNS manifestation of HIV was toxoplasmosis, the west coast experience was for lymphoma and PML. Our early work remains widely cited.
I recall just before the 2nd term election of ‘W’ Bush I sat in the audience at the CNS waiting for Mikhail Gorbachev to speak. The room was packed. A member from the national leadership stood before the microphone and I thought he would introduce Gorbachev. Instead he said short and sweet, “Bush supports malpractice reform. Kerry and Edwards do not.” He sat down and the room remained dead silent and I was amazed that the CNS had endorsed Bush. That November I did in fact vote for Bush. He would win anyway, with or without my vote. I voted on that narrow bit of platform knowing that it would never be passed in Congress. What?! My only problem is if I am discovered by Lisa.