Obama administration officials announced that President Obama will declare a United States renewed commitment to ending HIV and AIDS this coming Thursday. Included in this commitment will be the goals of delivering to more people life-saving AIDS medicines plus increased expenditures on the treatment of the disease in the US. The hoped for deadline to accomplish this two-pronged goal is by the end of 2013.
More People to Get More Drugs
Fifty million dollars will be pledged to achieve these objectives, which also include getting 2 million additional people around the world access to the life-saving drugs; plus putting the medications into the hands of the 1.5 million pregnant American women with AIDS to prevent the spread of the virus to their unborn babies.
These initiatives will be announced at the Washington, DC gathering marking World AIDS Day on Thursday. Former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will join the event via satellite hook-up.
The government officials who tipped off the press stated that Obama does not need approval from Congress to allocate the monies for these initiatives. Because they gave a head’s up about the coming announcement the officials requested anonymity.
Support for these initiatives is non-partisan; members of both parties have praised the new goals, saying that they support the fact that presidents from both sides of the aisle will be speaking at the World AIDS Day gathering.
“Here’s what we can do when we work together. We’ve got leaders of both political parties standing behind something that works,”
said Gayle Smith, Obama’s senior director for development and democracy at the National Security Council.
A former spokesman for President Bush, Tony Fratto, encouraged both parties to abstain from turning the fight against AIDS into a political battle.
“The only way to undermine this historic undertaking is if it becomes a partisan issue,” he said. “The reasons a Barack Obama and a George W. Bush can support America’s leading role in addressing this disease may be very different, but what’s important is they’ve sought the same goal.”