Video of Pat Robertson making wild claims about HIV – including the bizarre idea that gay men have rings that cut people’s fingers when they shake hands so that they can transmit the virus to unsuspecting victims – has resurfaced in light of media attention on Rush Limbaugh’s toxic statements about HIV.
The segment of The 700 Club where Robertson made the statements was so outlandish that the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) even had it removed from video-sharing platforms at the time, including YouTube and Vimeo. But it has come back.
In the 2013 clip, Robertson takes a question from a woman who was bothered to find out that she a man she was driving to the hospital regularly for her church had HIV. She said she had even switched churches because she felt she should have been told that a person living with HIV was in her car.
Robertson started out by saying that HIV can’t be transmitted by sharing a car – which is true – before he descended into conspiracy theory territory.
“There are laws now, I think the homosexual community has put these draconian laws on the books to prohibit people from discussing this particular infection,” he said, referring to laws that never existed anywhere.
Later in his rant, he said, “I think people in the gay community, they want to get people. They’ll have a ring, and you shake hands, and the ring has a little thing where you cut your finger.”