WASHINGTON ― The mother of Ryan White disputed claims on Monday that Donald Trump paid for her son’s medical treatment and warned that the GOP presidential nominee’s bullying ways are setting a bad example for children.
White contracted HIV at the age of 13 when receiving a tainted blood treatment for his hemophilia. He gained national attention while fighting the stigma that came with the disease at the time, and became the face of public education about HIV. White died in 1990.
His mother, Jeanne White-Ginder, continues to share her son’s story and speak against bullying ― something he faced when trying to attend school after he contracted HIV.
In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, White-Ginder said Trump never paid for Ryan’s treatment ― a rumor that has circulated for years.
White-Ginder has met Trump multiple times, once briefly when he came to her home after her son died. “Donald was here maybe five minutes and then left,” she said.
White-Ginder added that she doesn’t like the way Trump conducts himself.
She supports a number of the things Trump has said he would do as president, but continues to express concern about his behavior.
“Kids are going to grow up and think it’s OK to say the things he does,” she said. “It’s wrong, it’s bullying, and it’s what we’re trying so hard to stop. We need to teach our kids to be respectful to everybody.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.