It’s the stuff presidents are made of.
A British auction website has put up for sale a vial which it says was used to hold a sample of President Ronald Reagan’s blood, drawn after Reagan was shot by John Hinckley Jr. on March 30, 1981.
The 5-inch glass vial has a green stopper, and “dried blood residue” is visible inside, according to the listing on pfcauctions.com. From the listing:
A 3½” x 1″ white label has been affixed to the vial. It is printed, in purple ink, “REAGAN RONALD 940029 THOR / 610892572 AARON PRESIDENTIAL / SUITE 3/30/81 M 2/02/11 JAP.” 940029 was Reagan’s patient ID. AARON refers to Benjamin L. Aaron who was Chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at George Washington University Hospital where Reagan was in the Presidential Suite. THOR refers to thoracic. Reagan was admitted on March 30 1981 and M refers to male. The President’s date of birth is incorrectly stated as “2/02/11” when his actual date of birth is February 6 1911.
The auction winner will also get a printed form on light green paper from Bio-Science Laboratories with further information, plus a letter of provenance from the current owner.
As of Tuesday morning, the high bid for the item was £7,587, or roughly $12,000.
John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, told Reuters in a statement that, “If indeed this story is true, it’s a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase.”
In the letter of provenance, the unnamed owner details how he or she came to own the vial:
“Her laboratory was the laboratory contracted by Walter Reed Army Medical centre as well as the George Washington University Hospital to handle blood testing as well as other types of testing,” the letter states. “Her lab did the blood work and testing for President Reagan. The test tube and the lab slip that I have are for his blood work to be tested for lead on [Monday] 03/30/1981.
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.”
The owner claims that they contacted the Reagan National Library several months ago about the vial, and was told that the Reagan family was interested in the vial being returned.
“I told him that I didn’t think that was something that I was going to consider, since I had served under Pres. 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 letter concludes.
Update 1:13 p.m.: In an interview with FoxNews.com, Reagan’s son Michael Reagan called the whole thing “bogus.”
“This is somebody just trying to make money… trying to make money off Reagan,” he said.