Clinton Admonishes Bush Administration for Focusing on Combating Terrorism Over AIDS
Former President Clinton yesterday admonished the Bush administration for focusing on combating terrorism "at the expense" of the AIDS pandemic, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Speaking in Chicago at the annual convention of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, a not-for-profit, multi-racial membership organization, Clinton, who is a co-chair of the International AIDS Trust with former South African President Nelson Mandela, said, "I'm all for fighting in Afghanistan ... but no one believes that we can build a safe world just by preventing and punishing bad things. We have to make some good things happen." He cited a U.N. report that estimated that 70 million people could die of AIDS-related causes by 2020 and said about HIV/AIDS that the world has to find a way to "solve it, reverse it and end it." He then urged world leaders to appropriate $10 billion a year toward fighting the disease on a global scale, with the United States supplying a fifth of the funds. Two billion dollars "sounds like a lot of money. But it's less than two months of the Afghan war," Clinton said, adding that AIDS threatens to destabilize governments as young men in some areas often become mercenary soldiers because they "think they'll be dead [from AIDS-related causes] in a year or two." The United States will spend $1 billion this fiscal year on international HIV/AIDS initiatives. The first ladies of Nigeria and Haiti, two nations hit hard by HIV/AIDS, also spoke at the conference (Grossman, Chicago Sun-Times, 7/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.