President Bush made a surprise visit December 22 to NIH to talk with AIDS patients and to applaud NIH employees "for helping to improve the lives of millions of people and around the world." His audience - which included the heads and deputies of each of the 13 NIH institutes as well as 500 selected intramural scientists - undoubtedly was happy to receive a pat on the back from the First Hand. But they were less than pleased with the 2 1/2-hour wait that they endured within Masur auditorium to hear a six-minute pep talk. Why so long? The Secret Service insists that any hall in which the president is speaking must be sealed well before his appearance. And the president and Barbara Bush spent a good deal longer than anyone expected talking with pediatric AIDS patients and their families at the NIH clinical center. Bush's appearance superseded a visit...

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