I’ve been critical of the Bush Administration and the GOP lately, for many good reasons I believe, but it is nice to be reminded of some of the successes. Sebastian Mallaby had a good column the other day in the Washington Post wherein he highlighted the promising results of President Bush’s efforts on fighting AIDS. One wonders if the man will get the credit he deserves by liberal gay groups. I somehow doubt it.
Spending on AIDS:
“[S]ince the president’s pledge, spending on global AIDS programs has risen steadily: to $2.3 billion in 2004, $2.7 billion in 2005 and to $3.3 billion this year. The administration’s budget for 2007 requests $4 billion from Congress, more than quadruple the level in 2001. So the Bush team is on target to exceed the $15 billion promise”.
Generic drugs for AIDS:
“Starting in 2004, the administration fixed this problem. It directed the FDA to license generics for use in U.S. global AIDS programs, even when those generics could not be sold in the United States because they infringed U.S. patents…generic after generic was soon licensed, and in some countries around two-thirds of U.S. spending on AIDS drugs now goes to non-branded medicines. Given how often foreign aid is tied to exports from donor countries, it’s remarkable that the Bush team stiffed Big Pharma in favor of cost-effective help for AIDS patients”.
Funding to abstinence-based programs:
“Abstinence and faithfulness teaching consumes only 7 percent of the total, and an unknown fraction of that is constructively combined with teaching about condoms. The critics cite a few wacko preachers who have received U.S. money even though they proclaim that condoms don’t work, and the Government Accountability Office has described how the abstinence earmark complicates the work of front-line AIDS groups. But it’s wrong to paint the entire Bush AIDS program as a Christian-conservative plot when the abstinence-only stuff is relatively limited”.
On this at least I can say Bravo Zulu, Mr. President.