Friday, July 16, 2010

Dr. Emmanuel - Don't Retreat! Fund Global AIDS!

Dr. Zeke Emmanuel is an advisor to President Obama (and brother of the White House Chief of Staff). He is speaking at a pre-conference on Health Systems Strengthening and HIV. He has been the primary proponent in the Administration to reduce funding on AIDS, and instead refocus on cheap interventions only, like vaccinations. Because of his position, waiting lists are growing around the world for AIDS treatment.

Five activists disrupted his speech at the pre-Conference. He was clearly unsettled by the action.  He continues to put forward the inaccuracy that the Obama Administration is still committed to the promises made on the campaign trail. How is it not a broken promise to propose to CUT funding for the Global AIDS Fund in 2011? How is it not a broken promise to propose a scant 2% increase in funding overall for global AIDS, when inflation is 3 to 5 times that in Africa? How is it not a broken promise to propose approximately $2.5 billion less in 2011 than what President Obama and Congress agreed to, IN LAW, in 2008?

Carrie Rheingans challenged Dr. Emmanuel. She said that we agree with him that new funding needs to be made available for women and children. But he needs to use his sway to encourage President Obama to keep his promise to fund global AIDS at $50 billion over five years, to save the lives of millions of women and children who would otherwise die.

Dr. Emmanuel said the Administration was committed to keeping it's promise. Now we just need to see the budget evidence of this!

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