Friday, April 07, 2017

George W. Bush: Keep HIV/AIDS Programs Fully Funded

Perhaps the largest beneficiary of the election of Donald Trump, a/k/a Der Trumpenführer,  to the White House is George W. Bush.  Loathed by many when he left the presidency, George W. looks better and batter with each and every passing day.  Had I been asked in say 2005 if I would ever have a softening of my views on George W. Bush, I would have said that Hell would need to freeze over first.  Yet, today in the Washington Post George W. Bush has an op-ed that argues against Der Trumpenführer's proposal to savagely slash funding to HIV/AIDS programs, especially in Africa. Despite his many, many failings, belatedly, George W. seems able to comprehend that others are equally human.  With the ego drive, malignant narcissist in the White House, I truly do not expect to ever see such an evolution and perhaps even sense of sadness over mistakes made. Trump, unfortunately, is foul through and through.  Here are excerpts from George W. Bush's op-ed (we can only hope that Congress listens and rejects Der Trumpenführer's proposed budget cuts:
Last week in Gaborone, Botswana, Laura and I sat in a small room in Tlokweng Main Clinic, a facility that recently started screening and treating women for cervical cancer. Seated with us was Leithailwe Wale, a 40-year-old woman who was diagnosed with the disease. Thanks to early detection and access to treatment, she told us, today she is alive, healthy and able to raise her son.
Good news like Leithailwe’s is becoming increasingly common in five African countries where Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is operating. Since leaving the White House, Laura and I have been heartbroken to learn that because women with HIV are more likely to have cervical cancer, people who had been saved from AIDS were needlessly dying from another treatable, preventable disease. So at the Bush Institute, we formed this global public-private partnership to fight women’s cancers.
In the past six years, more than 370,000 women have been screened for cervical cancer and 24,000 for breast cancer through Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon. More than 119,000 girls have been vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to cervical and other cancers. Nearly 1,000 health workers have been trained. With the proper resources and international commitment, we could end cervical cancer deaths on the continent in 30 years.
Critical to this effort is our Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partner, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). My administration launched PEPFAR in 2003 to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic that threatened to wipe out an entire generation on the continent of Africa. Nearly 15 years later, the program has achieved remarkable results in the fight against disease. Today, because of the commitment of many foreign governments, investments by partners, the resilience of the African people and the generosity of the American people, nearly 12 million lives have been saved. And nearly 2 million babies have been born HIV-free to infected mothers.
This lifesaving work also has a practical purpose for Americans. Societies mired in disease breed hopelessness and despair, leaving people ripe for recruitment by extremists. When we confront suffering — when we save lives — we breathe hope into devastated populations, strengthen and stabilize society, and make our country and the world safer.
As the executive and legislative branches review the federal budget, they will have vigorous debates about how best to spend taxpayers’ money — and they should. . . . . But they should fully fund programs that have proven to be efficient, effective and results-oriented. Saving nearly 12 million lives is proof that PEPFAR works, and I urge our government to fully fund it. We are on the verge of an AIDS-free generation, but the people of Africa still need our help. The American people deserve credit for this tremendous success and should keep going until the job is done.  
Apparently, Hell is beginning to freeze over.  Kudos to George W. and Laura Bush.  Don't hold you breath for Trump or his spawn to do something like this.

1 comment:

EdA said...

Even though I still believe that PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) had its actual origin as another giveaway by W to America's pharmaceutical industry, it has in fact done wonders in improving and extending the quality of life for massive numbers of people affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti, and various other countries worldwide -- and for their families. If there is one thing (and it is very hard to think of additional ones) that would keep George W. Bush from burning in hell until the end of time and beyond, it is PEPFAR and associated programs, despite the clear beliefs of Christianist fundamentalists that their ostensibly loving God really enjoys the prospects of partners and children of straying men suffering incurable illness protracted until death.