February 21, 2013
"In his State of the Union address, President Obama stated with confidence that the promise of an AIDS-free generation is within our reach," Archbishop Emeritus of Capetown Desmond Tutu writes in a USA Today opinion piece, adding, "We currently possess the power to begin to end a global pandemic that has killed 25 million and infected another 34 million." He continues, "For the world to see, and seize, the opportunity to get the upper hand on AIDS at this critical tipping point, a powerful, visible world leader must drive the charge. President Obama is that leader."
"Obama can be known forever as the one who catalyzed the end of one of the world's fiercest pandemics. But to do this, he will need to back his words with a financial commitment," Tutu writes. "A bare minimum commitment from the president would mean funding at the current approved level," he states, adding, "The president must also stand strong in supporting the reformed Global Fund [to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria] by calling for a $1.65 billion pledge." He continues, "We are in the endgame of AIDS and Obama can help the world triumph," concluding, "By adding the end of AIDS to his legacy, President Obama will be remembered fondly by all future generations, grateful that he helped spare them from unnecessary suffering and needless death" (2/20).
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