A British auction house is selling what it says is a vial of the late US President Ronald Reagan's blood, taken at George Washington University Hospital after John Hinckley Jr. tried to assassinate him on March 30, 1981.
John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, is not happy, wrote the Associated Press. Heubusch said he had contacted the hospital to find out if or how a violation of the late president's medical privacy could have occurred. "If indeed this story is true, it's a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," he said.
PFC Auctions, which is hosting the vial in an online auction, listed the top bid at £7,587, nearly $12,000, on its website Tuesday.
The photo is of a vial wrapped in a typed label that says the president's name. It is accompanied by a lab sheet that asks for a "lead level" test. Reuters wrote that the president "suffered a punctured lung and internal bleeding when he was shot."
The site says "[d]ried blood residue from President Reagan (1911-2004) can be seen clearly in the vial with a quarter-inch ring of blood residue at the end of the inserted rubber stopper."
A letter accompanying the vial says it came into the possession of the seller's late mother, who worked at a blood processing center in suburban Maryland. "The testing was completed and the test tube was sitting on my mother’s desk. At the end of the week, she asked the director of her laboratory if she could keep the paper work and the test tube. The director of the lab told her no problem and really never gave it a second thought. It has been in my family ever since," wrote the website.