An anonymous seller says a small vial of what is said to be President Ronald Reagan's blood was obtained from Bio Science Laboratories in Columbia in 1981 but no record of that company's existence has been found in Columbia phone books from that period, according to an archivist.
The seller has put the vial up for auction in a move that has drawn national attention and criticism from historians who say it has no historical value.
The anonymous seller wrote in the description of the vial on a Channel Island auction house website that he obtained the vial and a lab slip from his mother, who worked at Bio Science Laboratories in Columbia.
Robin Emrich, archivist for the Columbia Archives, said no record of a business by that name exists in the phone books from that period stored at the archives.
Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981 outside the Washington Hilton and he was treated at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. The seller claims the president's blood was then sent to the Columbia laboratory where his mother worked.
"Her laboratory was the laboratory contracted by Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well as the George Washington University Hospital to handle blood testing as well as other types of testing," wrote the seller.
"Her lab did the blood work and testing for President Reagan. The test tube and the lab slip that I have are for his blood work to be tested for lead on [Monday] 03/30/1981. The testing was completed and the test tube was sitting on my mother’s desk. At the end of the week, she asked the director of her laboratory if she could keep the paper work and the test tube."
As of Wednesday morning, the highest bid on the vial was $14,483.
The sale of the vial has drawn criticism from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.
A spokesperson for the foundation called the sale "a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," according to NPR.
In the description on the auction house website, the seller claims he had tried to interest the Reagan National Library in purchasing the vial three to four months ago. But a person from the library declined, according to the description.
John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in California, said he was outraged when he heard about the sale and vowed to stop it, according to the Huffington Post.
"Any individual, including a president of the United States, should feel confident that once they enter into the care of a medical system, their privacy and rights are held inviolable," said Heubusch, according to the Huffington Post.
Have you ever heard of Bio Science Laboratory in Columbia?
Correction: An original version of this story said Reagan had been treated at Waleter Reed Hospital in D.C, but in fact it was George Washington University Hospital in D.C. We regret the error.