PEPFAR Typifies Bush Administration’s ‘Lone Ranger’ Approach to Global Issues, Editorial Says
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief typifies the Bush administration's "lone ranger" approach to global issues by "shunning" the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria -- the world's "foremost anti-AIDS weapon" -- a Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial says. Not only does President Bush "disingenuous[ly]" claim that his administration is a "mainstay" of the Global Fund when its financial commitment is "relatively paltry," but the strategy adopted by PEPFAR "isn't so smart," the editorial says. The plan focuses on "just" 15 countries affected by HIV/AIDS, some of which "face far less AIDS peril than nations the White House has overlooked," according to the Star Tribune. Moreover, the first round of PEPFAR funding was not released until 13 months after the plan was launched, and "few" HIV/AIDS patients "have actually enjoyed its benefits," the editorial says. While the Global Fund helps local stakeholders develop treatment and prevention initiatives "tailored to their country's needs," the Bush administration "seems determined to manage its one-size-fits-all AIDS program straight from Washington," the Star Tribune says. The administration has adopted this approach primarily because it needs to "cater to the 'pro-family'" and "inexplicably ... anti-condom" outlook of the "American right," according to the editorial. "That the Global Fund trumps PEPFAR in combating AIDS is beyond question" because it is "[w]orldwide in reach and local in focus" and aims to "draw together all the world's citizens to contain a pandemic," the Star Tribune says, concluding that it "can't very well succeed if the United States insists on spending its anti-AIDS budget according to its own whim -- all the while claming credit for the brilliant strategy it is sabotaging" (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 10/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.