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Bill Gates’ remarks point to lack of credit to Bush for AIDS initiative

Image: Snip from PEPFAR web page; U.S. GovernmentBill Gates is reportedly the wealthiest man in the U.S., and the company he helped co-found shuttled $815,536 to the campaign to reelect President Barack Obama. The donations came from employees and others associated with Microsoft.

Despite his company’s Democrat supporters, Gates recently acknowledged one of Republican President George W. Bush’s major humanitarian accomplishments during a political event hosted by Politico.

Gates’ praise for Bush came during an exchange about the power of the presidency. Gates is a fan of expanding the power of a president, but the U.S. Constitution limits that power in the U.S., unlike in countries such as the United Kingdom.

The issue of more executive power aside, Gates noted something few ever mention.

President George W. Bush succeeded in getting Congress to pass The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Bush didn’t’ do this because he would get votes, and he took heat because of the expense.

Announced in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address, PEPFAR began with approximately $5 billion in funding.

Gates said, “Bush…was definitely unappreciated for the AIDS work.”

According to Foreign Policy, current Sec. of State John Kerry, a former Democrat senator, credited PEPFAR for saving 5 million lives.

FP said:

“In his 2003 speech, President Bush called upon Congress to sponsor an ambitious program to supply antiretroviral drugs and other treatments to HIV sufferers in Africa. Since then, the U.S. government has spent some $44 billion on the project (a figure that includes $7 billion contributed to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, a multilateral organization).”

NYT correspondent Peter Baker said, "Bush did more to stop AIDS and more to help Africa than any president before or since."

So thorough was the character assassination of Bush by media and the Democrat machine, many activists don’t even know about the initiative. Gates said:

I went to an AIDS conference where somebody mentioned Bush and the audience was like, ‘boo’ or something like that. Well that is deeply, ironically unfair.”

(Filed by Kay B. Day/March 14, 2013)

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