United States Should ‘Make Good’ on Bush’s AIDS Pledge, Sens. Durbin, Feingold Say
While "the fight against terrorism is, rightly, the United States' first priority now," the country must "make good" on President Bush's promise to provide funding to fight AIDS in Africa, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) write in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch opinion piece. The national security implications of the disease are multiplying as it "unravel[s] social structures and decimat[es] populations," they say, adding that AIDS is therefore, as Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "the No. 1 threat facing the world today" because of its power to "reverse opportunities for peace and freedom and encourage tyranny and poverty." The United States must "do more than get the words right; we must also act" to fund prevention and treatment strategies, including the expansion of access to "life-extending antiretroviral drugs," Durbin and Feingold state. As the "world's wealthiest and most powerful nation," the United States also should make a "serious commitment" to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, they write. In addition, the United States needs to work to "establish clear goals" and ensure their proper implementation by holding the U.S. government and the countries receiving the aid "accountable" for its proper use, Durbin and Feingold say. They conclude, "While we continue the war against terror, we cannot afford to neglect the other critically important global struggle currently being waged -- the fight against AIDS" (Durbin/Feingold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.