January 5, 2008


In global battle on AIDS, Bush creates legacy (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, January 6, 2008, IHT)

Dr. Jean Pape did not know what to expect in early January 2003, when he slipped away from his work treating AIDS patients in Haiti and flew to Washington for a secret meeting with President George W. Bush.

Bush was considering devoting billions to combat global AIDS, a public health initiative unparalleled in size and scope. The deliberations had been tightly carried out; even the health secretary was left out early on. If Bush was going to shock the world — and skeptical Republicans — with a huge expenditure of American cash to send expensive drugs overseas, he wanted it to be well spent.

"He said, 'I will hold you accountable, because this is a big move, this is an important thing that I've been thinking about for a long time,'" recalled Dr. Pape, one of several international AIDS experts Bush consulted. "We indicated to him that our arms are totally broken as physicians, knowing that there are things we could do if we had the drugs."

Nearly five years later, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — Pepfar, for short — may be the most lasting bipartisan accomplishment of the Bush presidency.

...Democrats have inexplicably managed to turn W's historical accomplishments--tax cuts, the economic boom, free trade, the Reformation of the Middle East and liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq--into purely partisan achievements. Meanwhile, the only meaningful legacies of Bill Clinton--Welfare Reform, free trade, economic boom--are all shared with the GOP Congress.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2008 8:15 PM
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