On the election stump for Dick Blumenthal today in Bridgeport, Conn., President Obama lost control of a portion of his audience for three minutes. It’s not surprising folks show up and disrupt events, but what is surprising is his response to the Global AIDS Alliance protesters. Well, maybe not so much.
Obama identified the group of “young people” making a ruckus as representatives from Global AIDS, which I assume is the Global AIDS Alliance. His response to their interruption was to suggest they go protest at the other guy’s events because “we’re funding Global AIDS and the other side is not.” Liar.
That’s what it comes down to. Democrats, Obama and people like Dick Blumenthal are funding organizations like Global AIDS and Republicans are not. Pathetic. He is completely wrong and a liar. Americans, at least the 60 percent of those who pay federal income taxes, are funding organizations like Global AIDS Alliance with billions of dollars per year.
As it turns out, Obama made one of those campaign promises that expired. Global AIDS is ticked off, and he’s got the guts to turn this around politically and claim his ‘side’ is funding the AIDS initiatives and the ‘other side’ is not? As you’d read below, he’s the one that took the political position to increase funding. He’s the one who elected to “flat-line” AIDS funding.
Now our young president is blaming Republicans? Give be a break.
As a reminder, President Bush brought forward, and Americans funded PEPFAR which was announced in 2003.
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was announced by President Bush in his 2003 State of the Union Address as a five-year, $15 billion initiative to combat global HIV/AIDS. It was reauthorized in 2008 for up to $39 billion to fight HIV/AIDS. PEPFAR is the largest international health initiative in history dedicated to fighting a single disease.
On the campaign trail, Obama used the AIDS funding as a political tool to get more votes. He promised billions in more funding and then turned sour on the promise. I’m not sure if more funding was needed, but he let current funding stand and did not increase outlays. From The Guardian back in July.
Barack Obama has been personally hurt by claims he reneged on promises to increase US funding to fight Aids, the head of his administration’s efforts to counter the disease has said, rejecting the criticism as unjust.
Eric Goosby, who leads Pepfar, the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief, has himself been targeted by noisy demonstrators at the international Aids conference in Vienna who have invaded the platform, accusing the US of allowing people with HIV to die. The issue of funding in an economic recession – and particularly the US government’s contribution – has been the tense underlying theme of the meeting.
Activists say Obama promised an extra $50bn (£33bn) for Aids by 2013 before he was elected but is now flat-lining Aids funding, with an increase of just 2.5% in 2011. Obama has made HIV/Aids part of a global health initiative that is to get an overall funding increase of 8% – but other initiatives, particularly on cutting the deaths of women in childbirth and their babies, will get a bigger increase.
Normally, some folks may consider this unbelievable. I’m not surprised one bit. Obama is exactly the type of political elite who would make a promise, not deliver, and blame the opposition for his own decision.