We're Close on AIDS: Don't Blow It Now, America
Bono, George W. Bush warn against the US pulling back
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2011 1:20 PM CST
In this 2010 photo, a patient gets a blood test inside a mobile health care clinic parked in downtown Johannesburg.   (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

(Newser) – Two big names—Bono and George W. Bush—weigh in on World AIDS Day, both with the general theme that tremendous progress has been made in the last decade but that it won't matter if the world, specifically the US, gets complacent now. Some highlights:

  • Bono: How did all this progress happen? "America led," he writes in the New York Times. "I mean really led." He calls the unlikely alliance of left and right the nation's "greatest act of heroism since it jumped into World War II." US action saved millions of lives. Among those singled out for praise is the "conservative" Bush and his President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. (He recalls Bush "banging his desk when I complained the drugs weren't getting there fast enough.") For the US to back off now "would be one of the greatest accidental evils of this recession," he concludes.

  • Bush: Don't let rising "isolationism" in America cause the nation to retreat and jeopardize all the gains that have been made in Africa, he warns in the Wall Street Journal. That will only backfire, and the aid represents only a tiny fraction of the federal budget. "Engagement serves our interests," he writes. "It also reveals our deepest values. No nation can solve all the problems of the world. But a nation that believes human dignity is universal—that affirms that all men and women are created equal—will do what it can."