Bush Touts Foreign HIV/AIDS Funding as ‘Great Compassion’ and ‘In Our National Interest’
President Bush on Wednesday in a speech at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., said the U.S. has a duty and a "national interest" to fight disease and poverty around the world, specifically promoting funding for foreign HIV/AIDS programs, the New York Times reports (Pear, New York Times, 2/2). "Helping defeat HIV/AIDS on the continent of Africa ... not only reflects the great compassion of America, but it will improve lives for generations of Americans to come," Bush said, adding, "I believe defeating hopelessness and despair and helping others defeat poverty is in our national interest" (Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times, 2/2). He also asked the audience if they were aware that the U.S. is "providing incredibly important lifesaving antiretroviral drugs to help defeat HIV/AIDS" in Africa. Bush added, "There is a pandemic sweeping that continent, and the [U.S.] is leading the world in helping save lives" (Bush speech text, 2/1). The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is a five-year, $15 billion program that directs funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria primarily to 15 focus countries and provides funding to the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/02/05).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.