LONDON – A Channel Islands auction house says it’s selling a vial that allegedly contains blood residue from Ronald Reagan – a move denounced Tuesday by the late U.S. president’s family and his foundation.
The vial being auctioned online was used by the laboratory that tested Reagan’s blood when he was hospitalized after a 1981 assassination attempt, the PFCAuctions house said.
Reagan’s son Michael condemned the auction but said he was confident it was not his father’s blood.
“Whatever’s in the vial – could be mouse blood – it’s certainly not Reagan blood,” Reagan said in a telephone call from Los Angeles. “And what an outrageous thing to do to (Reagan’s widow) Nancy and the family.”
John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, condemned the auction and vowed to try to halt it. Bidding had passed $11,000 Tuesday, the house said, and the auction ends Thursday.
The auction house on the Channel Islands between England and France said on its website that the blood vial came from the Bio Science Laboratory in Columbia, Md.
The item is a 5-inch glass vial that is a half-inch in diameter and has a green rubber stopper. The auction house said it clearly contains traces of dried blood.
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.
The auction house website says the seller claimed he was a supporter of Reagan’s conservative economic policies and believes the late president would have wanted him to sell the vial rather than donate it.