BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A New York-based philanthropy is apologizing for its role in the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study. The Manhattan-based Milbank Memorial Fund covered funeral expenses starting in the 1930s for hundreds of Black men who were allowed to die of the untreated disease. This wasn’t a simple act of charity: The payments enabled researchers to obtain autopsies of people who had been told only that they suffered from “bad blood.” The fund’s president, Christopher F. Koller, said there’s no easy way to explain or justify its role in the deceit that even today makes many Black people suspicious of government health care. The fund apologized Saturday during a ceremony in Tuskegee.
Photo: FILE – In this 1950’s photo released by the National Archives, a Black man included in a syphilis study has blood drawn by a doctor in Tuskegee, Ala. Fifty years after the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study was revealed to the public in 1972 and halted, Manhattan-based philanthropy organization Milbank Memorial Fund is publicly apologizing for its role in the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study. (National Archives via AP, File)