President Bush Should Address HIV/AIDS in State of the Union Address, Irish Rock Star Bono Says in Opinion Piece
During tomorrow night's State of the Union Address, President Bush should "for a few minutes ... talk about the global AIDS crisis -- and define a historic American response," Irish rock star Bono, founder of Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. "The facts about AIDS in the poorest countries -- especially [in] Africa -- are now clearly in focus," and not only show an "unprecedented humanitarian tragedy, but a clear and present danger to the United States," Bono says. Today 6,500 people in Africa will die from AIDS-related causes, taking with them "their earning power, their human capital -- and ... leav[ing] behind their children," Bono says, adding, "It's hard ... not to see the security implications of the destruction of the African family, African economies, African hopes." The "American people are saying AIDS is an emergency," and the U.S. should give "at least $2.5 billion ... this year to kick-start the war against HIV and AIDS and to show the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world that America is a true partner for health, global security and prosperity," Bono continues. "I'm convinced that if [Bush] stands before Congress tomorrow night and declares that Africa's AIDS epidemic is an emergency, people watching in America and around the world will stand up, cheer and volunteer to help," Bono concludes, adding, "And if [Bush] backs his commitment in his budget, he will show the world the kind of leadership that only America can provide" (Bono, Washington Post, 1/27). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.