The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Given that yesterday was World AIDS Day, let's refresh ourselves on the president's committment to fighting the disease. Among the highlights:
--The White House’s Director of National AIDS Policy has written to Congress at least three times since the President’s Africa trip to try to stop Congress from providing full funding to global AIDS programs. The President has used distortions and half-truths about Africa to block expanded funding that would benefit all developing countries fighting AIDS.

--While publicly proclaiming his support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tb and Malaria, behind the scenes the Fund’s chairman, Secretary Tommy Thompson, is working to undermine the multilateral initiative. Because of White House pressure, the Global Fund will likely cut its grant-making in half next year. Europe has now far outpaced the US in donations to this innovative and cost-effective funding mechanism.

--The President’s new Global AIDS Coordinator, Randy Tobias, is implementing the Bush plan largely in secret. Important questions about the implementation of abstinence-until-marriage programs and support for groups that disparage condoms remain unaddressed.

--While stating his initiative on AIDS would use the cheapest available medications, the President is negotiating a Central America Free Trade Agreement and a wider Free Trade Agreement of the Americas that will undermine the price competition required to ensure broad access to medications for AIDS and other illnesses. The Bush approach threatens one of the world’s most successful anti-AIDS programs, that of the Brazilian government.
And that's just a sample.

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