President Bush Has ‘Fallen Far Short’ of Pledge To Fight Global HIV/AIDS, Editorial Says
Although President Bush in his 2003 State of the Union address promised $15 billion over five years to combat HIV/AIDS in some African and Caribbean countries, his "actual budget requests ... ha[ve] fallen far short of his pledge," a New Haven Register editorial says. For example, even though Congress authorized $550 million for the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for fiscal year 2004, Bush in his FY 2005 budget proposal requested $200 million for the fund, the editorial says. In addition, the director of Medecins Sans Frontieres said that the Bush administration has "shunned" the purchase of generic antiretroviral drugs using money from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and lawmakers have called on Bush to accept the generic drugs, the Register says. The administration has "denied that it was refusing to pay for generic AIDS drugs," according to the Register. The editorial adds that European and Asian countries also have not "donated as much as originally expected" to the Global Fund. The Register concludes that although "poverty, lack of medical facilities and trained doctors in the affected countries all work against the AIDS fight," those factors "do not soften the fact" that the Global Fund "has only 20% of the money it needs to fulfill its mission" (New Haven Register, 4/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.