Newspapers Publish Editorial, Opinion Piece About Dybul Resignation, Appointment of New PEPFAR Administrator
The Boston Globe and the New York Times recently published an editorial and opinion piece about the resignation of Mark Dybul as the U.S. global AIDS coordinator and administrator of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Summaries appear below.
Boston Globe: The removal of Dybul from the position of global AIDS coordinator "bears all the earmarks of the kind of crude partisanship" that President Obama has "said he deplores," a Globe editorial says. Although Dybul "was a political appointee and not a career professional," it "made sense for the Obama team to keep" Dybul "on the job until a replacement was chosen" to "ensure a smooth handoff ... to the new administration," the editorial says. It adds that this "was the plan until Jan. 22, when the State Department abruptly announced that Dybul had resigned." According to the editorial, "Under Dybul's leadership," PEPFAR "won a five-year, $48 billion renewal from Congress last year." Whoever is nominated to be the next PEPFAR administrator "would have benefited from some transition time with Dybul," the editorial says, concluding, "Score it one for partisanship, zero for public health" (Boston Globe, 2/3).
- Josh Ruxin, New York Times "On the Ground" blog: Because the global AIDS coordinator has "the extraordinarily important job of setting U.S. AIDS policy and indentifying spending priorities," the position must be filled by someone "with the knowledge, credibility and leadership to head up what is America's largest global public health initiative," columnist Ruxin writes in a Times blog entry. Ruxin writes that the "right choice now is critical," adding, "Most people working on HIV/AIDS overseas recognize that with President Obama, we finally have an opportunity to scale up supporting interventions -- particularly in prevention -- along with treatment." According to Ruxin, the State Department "appears" to be conducting a "non-consultative selection process" for the new PEFAR administrator, "one that may not serve the office well." According to Ruxin, "We need an" Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator "leader who will think more holistically, more scientifically and who will be guided more by patient health and less by ideology." He adds that Obama's administration "better get smart about appointing the right leaders for the ongoing wars that cost billions, but save millions of lives," concluding, "At a time when AIDS treatment is still nowhere close to keeping pace with new infections, the administration should choose wisely and by consensus" (Ruxin, New York Times "On the Ground," 2/2).