HHS Secretary Thompson, U.N. Secretary-General Annan Urge Nations To Increase Contributions to Global Fund
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson yesterday, on the eve of his first board meeting as chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, urged other nations to match the U.S. commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS, USA Today reports. "We are active players, we are going to continue to be active players, and we want other members of the world community also to shoulder the burden," Thompson said (Sternberg, USA Today, 6/4). Although the five-year, $15 billion global AIDS bill (HR 1298) recently signed into law by President Bush authorizes up to $1 billion to go to the Global Fund, the amount actually appropriated may be less and is contingent upon the contributions of other countries. Under the measure, the United States can contribute up to $1 billion to the fund only if that amount totals no more than one-third of the fund's total contributions. Therefore, in order for the total $1 billion to be appropriated, other nations must contribute more money (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/27). Thompson said that he and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan plan to lead a delegation of corporate executives, entrepreneurs and others on a trip to Africa this fall. "If I can get people to travel to Africa and actually see some of the orphans ... that is the best way I can get them to see the problem and contribute," Thompson said (Fox, Reuters/Yahoo! News, 6/3). At the G8 Summit on Monday in Evian, France, Annan pressed world leaders to contribute more to the fund (PlusNews, 6/3). Thompson yesterday also announced that he would not stay for a second term as HHS secretary if Bush is reelected in 2004. When asked if he planned to stay on through 2004, Thompson said, "I would think the fact that I'm here taking on the Global Fund, building a new command center, going to Africa, is a pretty good indication I'm going to be here for awhile. Let's leave it at that" (AP/St. Paul Pioneer Press, 6/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.