LONDON — A Channel Islands auction house said it is selling a vial that allegedly contains blood residue from Ronald Reagan, a move denounced Tuesday by the late president’s family and his foundation.
The vial being auctioned online was used by the laboratory that tested Reagan’s blood when he was treated at George Washington University hospital after a 1981 assassination attempt in Washington, the PFCAuctions house said.
Reagan’s son Michael condemned the auction but said he is confident it is not his father’s blood. “Whatever’s in the vial could be mouse blood — it’s certainly not Reagan blood,” Michael Reagan said from Los Angeles. “And what an outrageous thing to do to (Reagan’s widow) Nancy and the family. I hope the world calls on this organization to cease and desist because it’s so bogus.”
Bidding for the vial had passed the $11,000 mark Tuesday, the house said, and the auction ends Thursday.
“If indeed this story is true, it’s a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase,” John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in California, said in a statement. “We’ve spoken to GW (George Washington) Hospital and are assured an investigation as to how something like this could possibly happen is under way.”
The auction house said on its website that the blood vial did not come from the Washington hospital that treated Reagan but from the Bio Science Laboratory in Columbia, Md. A spokesman for George Washington University hospital, Steven Taubenkibel, declined to comment.
The item is a 5-inch glass vial that is one-half-inch in diameter and has a green rubber stopper. The vial is being sold by a man whose late mother took it from the laboratory with permission weeks after the tests were made, auction house spokeswoman Kylie Whitehead said.