In State of the State Address, Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening Asks Legislators, Public to ‘Unite’ to End African AIDS ‘Tragedy’
Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening (D) yesterday gave his final State-of-the-State address, a "nontraditional speech" that focused on issues "well beyond Maryland" and highlighted a conversation he had with former South African President Nelson Mandela about AIDS, the Baltimore Sun reports (Nitkin/Koenig, Baltimore Sun, 1/17). Calling the AIDS "tragedy" in Africa "almost invisible to the Western world," Glendening said that although the United States "demand[ed]" cheaper anthrax drugs after five Americans died last year from infection, "there is no global outcry, no demands made on the drug companies, no real response whatsoever, to 2.5 million Africans who have died of AIDS." Glendening called on legislators and the public to continue their support of higher education, which "may well help produce a scientist whose breakthrough research revolutionizes" treatment for the disease. "We must recognize the role racism and bigotry play in this heartbreaking disparity. As a world, we must unite to end this terrible tragedy," Glendening said, concluding that AIDS will "not be solved here in Annapolis in the next 90 days. But if we do our part for our state, we can send forth our own 'ripples of hope'" (Speech text, Baltimore Sun, 1/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.