U.S. Delegation in Africa ‘Another Photo Op’ Unless Funding Released for Global AIDS Initiative, Editorial Says
A U.S. delegation led by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson that is currently traveling in Africa is "admirable" but could become "just another photo opportunity" unless funding for the global AIDS initiative is released, a San Francisco Chronicle editorial says (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/4). Thompson and a U.S. delegation of lawmakers, business people and religious groups -- including the head of the State Department Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator Randall Tobias, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS President and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Executive Director Richard Feachem, CDC Director Julie Gerberding, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci -- are in Africa to examine projects aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/3). Although the group is an "impressive and eclectic ... entourage, ... they're arriving with empty pockets, leaving behind the U.S. dollars promised and needed to mount an effective anti-AIDS campaign," the editorial says. "It is to be hoped that Thompson's group will grasp" the message that 2.3 million people in Africa this year will die of AIDS-related diseases and "push Bush to keep his promise" of $15 billion over five years for the AIDS initiative, the Chronicle concludes (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.