Phil Tiemeyer's 'Gaëton, Patient Zero,'

1120 Words 4 Pages
In the reading, Phil Tiemeyer, gives a unique spin off of the telltale story of the infamous Gaëton Dugas. A man who could arguably be called the Hitler of the AIDS epidemic. In fact, not only does Tiemeyer say that the things people have learned about Mr. Dugas was a fabricated myth, but he also defends Dugas, by saying he could not have even been patient zero. An audacious claim to make about the villain of the late 20th century, however, surprisingly Tiemeyer does not speak without compelling evidence. Phil Tiemeyer’s writing depicted two major aspects in the Dugas speculations and they were slanderous accusations of the media, and what was the truth of the matter. The first part Phil Tiemeyer addresses of the Gaëton, Patient Zero, debate, …show more content…
In the reading Tiemeyer says
“What garnered so much attention was Shilts’s skillfully framed suggestion—despite ample evidence to the contrary—that Gaëton was the continent’s very first person with AIDS, the “Patient Zero” who brought this African disease to North America. Planting the story with New York Post, Shilts’s publishers started a cavalcade of sensational headlines across the continent with Post Claiming in a massive bole headline, that it had uncovered ‘THE MAN WHO GAVE US AIDS,’” (137).
This is significant because Tiemeyer presents the information many people have deemed as a fact, and then questions the legitimacy of their sources. Revealing this position in this manor opens the reader to doubt the credibility of what they have been told. Personally, I respect this tactic because after I had read Shilts’s book, and saw how much research he had invested into his memoir, it only seemed natural to view Gaëton as a villain. Then when Tiemeyer said that there were numerous amounts of evidence to refute Shilts’s portrayal of Gaëton, it made me question Shilts’s reliability. It also made me wonder if Shilts had purposefully withheld information form his audience. Interestingly enough

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