An online auction house is now accepting bids for a vial it claims contains drops of President Ronald Reagan’s blood drawn during his recovery from a 1981 assassination attempt.
As of Tuesday morning, bidding at PFCAuctions.com had already exceeded $10,000. The vial is being sold on behalf of an unidentified man who claims to have obtained it after his mother’s death.
According to CBS News, a woman working at the Bio Science Laboratories in Columbia, Md., originally obtained the vial when her laboratory performed blood work and testing for Reagan while he was being treated at George Washington University Hospital; the President and three others were shot and wounded by John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, 1981. A supervisor allowed the woman to keep the vial and associated paperwork indicating lab work to test for lead. The woman kept the vial until her death in 2010, when it was passed to her son.
The auction, not surprisingly, has drawn heavy criticism.
“Any individual, including a President of the United States, should feel confident that once they enter into care of a medical system their privacy and rights are held inviolable,” said John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation to the Washington Post.
On the PFCAuctions.com website, the seller wrote, “Reagan when he was my Commander in Chief when I was in the ARMY from ’87-’91 and that I was a real fan of Reaganomics and felt that Pres. Reagan himself would rather see me sell it rather than donating it.”
The auction site told CBS that they had not yet been contacted by the Reagan Foundation or by anyone on its behalf regarding the sale of Reagan’s blood. If they are contacted, however, they agreed to discuss the matter before proceeding with the sale.