Policy & Politics
Transcript of Bush's Address to NAACP
July 21, 2006
On Thursday in Washington, President Bush addressed the 97th convention of the NAACP. Following, excerpted from a transcript released by the White House, is the section of his speech related to HIV/AIDS.
"Finally, you and I seek America that commits its wealth and expertise to helping those who suffer from terrible disease. We believe that every person in the world bears the image of our Maker, and is an individual of matchless value. And when we see the scourge of HIV/AIDS ravaging communities at home and abroad, we must not avert our eyes.
"Today more than a million of our fellow Americans live with HIV, and more than half of all AIDS cases arise in the African American community. This disease is spreading fastest among African American women. And one of the reasons the disease is spreading so quickly is many don't realize they have the virus. And so we're going to lead a nationwide effort, and I want to work with the NAACP on this effort, to deliver rapid HIV/AIDS - HIV tests to millions of our fellow citizens. [Applause.] Congress needs to reform and reauthorize the Ryan White Act, and provide funding to states, so we can end the waiting lists for AIDS medications in this country. [Applause.]
"To whom much is given, much is required. This nation is a blessed nation, and when we look at HIV/AIDS on the continent of Africa, we haven't turned away. We believe it's our nation's responsibility to help those who suffer from this pandemic.
"We're leading the world when it comes to providing medications and help. Today more than 40 million people around the world are living with HIV/AIDS; 26 million of those live in Sub Sahara Africa, including 2 million children under the age of 15. We're calling people together. We pledged $15 billion to provide medicine and help. We launched the emergency plan for AIDS relief. Before this AIDS emergency plan was passed, only 50,000 in Sub Sahara Africa were getting medicine. Today, that number has grown to more than 560,000 people, and more are getting help every day. By working together we can turn the tide of this struggle against HIV/AIDS and bring new hope to millions of people."
New York Times
07.20.2006; George W. Bush