Politics & Policy
AIDS Advocates, African-American Political Leaders React to Bush Pledge to Fight HIV/AIDS Among Blacks With Surprise, Skepticism
February 4, 2005
AIDS advocates and African-American political leaders have reacted to President Bush's pledge to fight HIV/AIDS among blacks with "surprise and some skepticism," the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/4). Bush during the State of the Union address on Wednesday outlined an agenda aimed at U.S. inner cities, including a pledge to fight the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African-American community. Bush also asked Congress to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act "to encourage prevention and provide care and treatment" to people living with the disease. "And as we update this important law, we must focus our efforts on fellow citizens with the highest rates of new cases: African-American men and women," Bush said. Last month, Bush met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who chairs the CBC Global AIDS Taskforce, was expected to deliver a letter to the president acknowledging his work to raise the profile of the HIV/AIDS pandemic but adding that a greater commitment is needed (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/3). "I think [Bush's pledge] caught everyone off guard," Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, said.
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