Radio Free Rico

Rico and his mom, Lindsey Nage
It has been the most astonishing week, experiencing the enormous reaction from around the world to the plight of little Rico Martinez Nagel, in what seems to be the death-throes of the rogue AIDS machine. Here at TTB,  other blogs,on Facebook, on Twitter, on radio, and even local TV, the outrage, sorrow, and commitment have formed a tornado of support for the Nagel family and little Rico. If you wish to make a donation or express your support to the family, go to
Never in all my years of reporting on the brutal consequences to human beings of the HIV death trap have I seen a reaction like this.
People are outraged. Weeping. Shocked.
The story is spreading.
Attempts to quell it with cheap New York Times propaganda about a baby that was abducted in rural Mississippi and blasted with AIDS drugs at birth as a triumph of AIDS science were not successful.
It only made people more furious.
It may have been Saturday morning when Andy Maniotis called me, to report that Rico had been given MMR, DPT and Hep B vaccinations all in one day.”Andy are you crying?” I said.
“Yes,” he said.I am always relieved when people cry. It means they have not yet been turned into zombies in the ongoing Zombie Apocalypse.
“They’re just determined to kill this kid Celia,” Maniotis said.
But Rico is alive, as I write. He even smiled the other day.
He is a fighter and a miracle, this little guy.
His father John Martinez wrote me the night the story broke and said: “Every day my son is still breathing is a good day.”
He is always on our minds. He has broken open our hearts. Steve Nagel (who has been on various shows, speaking with an exceptional clarity and poignancy) overheard people at the next table talking about Rico in a local diner. “They didn’t even know it was me, I just listened to their conversation,” he said.
And tonight I got this in an email from Dr. Andrew Wakefield, in Austin, after I wrote to update him on Rico’s status–that he is not home yet but that the story is breaking all over:
“Wonderful. My children have heard of baby Rico so it must be hitting far and wide.”

5 thoughts on “Radio Free Rico”

  1. To Rico’s family and loved ones, and of course to Rico….
    I have a candle lit for you, young man. This is the amazing value of this Internet and FB: We who don’t even know each other can support each other, pray for each other, light candles for each other, and if you can, send money, too. As my Grandfather (a Doctor) used to always say:
    “HEARTS OF OAK” (<<<have strong hearts)
    My love to you ALL, light, and rapid healing 🙂
    Tory Christman
    Burbank, CA

  2. Ms. Farber’s Landmark article on HIV in Harper’s was shocking to me. But, that shows the quality of her writing style and how she challenges the reader.

    Richard Willner
    The Center for Peer Review Justice.

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