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IHV Issues Statement of Condolence Regarding Malaysian Airlines Crash

Robert C. Gallo, MD, director; William A. Blattner, MD, associate director; and Robert R. Redfield, MD, associate director of the Institute of Human Virology issued the following statement on July 18:

The Institute of Human Virology sends our thoughts and prayers to the friends and families of those aboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which crashed in Ukraine yesterday. We are especially saddened to learn that our colleagues from the University of Amsterdam -- Joep Lange and his partner, Jacqueline van Tongeren -- were among the victims traveling to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. As we learn the identities of other possible victims traveling to the conference, may we remember their passion and dedication to solving the AIDS pandemic and honor their legacy by ending AIDS.

Gallo, who was the co-discoverer of HIV, was interviewed on on WBAL-AM in Baltimore, and on WTOP-AM in Washington, D.C., and appeared on WBFF-TV at 5pm, 10pm and 11pm. Blattner was interviewed on WMAR-TV in Baltimore to appear on the evening news to comment on the tragedy, which occurred July 17 when the plane crashed in Ukraine.

In President Obama's remarks at a news conference on July 18, he told the nation: "Yesterday, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 took off from Amsterdam and was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border. Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken -- men, women, children, infants -- who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine. Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions."

Regarding the scientists and activists, Obama said, "On board Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, there were apparently nearly 100 researchers and advocates traveling to an international conference in Australia dedicated to combating AIDS/HIV. These were men and women who had dedicated their own lives to saving the lives of others and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence," he said.


Posting Date: 07/18/2014
Contact Name: Patricia Fanning
Contact Phone: 410-706-7946
Contact Email: pfanning@umaryland.edu