Yale Faculty, Staff and Students Criticize U.S. AIDS Fund Donation on Eve of Bush Commencement Speech
More than 150 Yale University deans, faculty and students, including medical dean and former FDA head David Kessler, "have condemned as inadequate" the Bush administration's planned $200 million contribution to a global AIDS fund, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. In a letter to Bush released Saturday, the group wrote, "As countries around the world join forces toward productive measures to combat the pandemic, the United States appears to be moving in a disappointing direction, unworthy of our role as a global leader." The group added that the U.S. should contribute $2.5 billion a year to the fund, organized by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who aims to reach $7 billion to $10 billion annually. According to Amy Kapczynski, a Yale law student who recently helped convince the university to relinquish its patent rights on the AIDS drug d4t, Bush will also face "a sea of red ribbons" protesting his administration's global AIDS policy when he gives the university's commencement address today. White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer "defended the administration's commitment" and called the promised $200 million "an unprecedented amount for a multilateral foreign-aid program." Fleischer added that the figure is a "first step" that could be followed with additional funds (Collins, Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.