Former President George W. Bush (43rd) and Bono are big buddies. Kinda shocking, right?
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You may be even more surprised to learn that their friendship is grounded by their shared passion for those living with HIV globally.
In 2003 when George W. Bush was President, his administration launched PEPFAR , or the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. It’s a government program focused on addressing the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa and other parts of the world.
PEPFAR is the largest spend of the global health budget of the U.S., giving more than $70 billion since it’s launch to date. ?
According to aidsmap,
“A withdrawal of United States funding for HIV treatment and prevention in sub-Saharan Africa could lead to 20 million additional HIV infections and 2 million additional AIDS deaths between now and 2032, according to modelling of the impact of US funding carried out by Imperial College, London, and presented last week at the 9th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017) in Paris.”
Bono doesn’t hold any secret on giving Bush credit, posting a picture on the One Campaign’s Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
More than 11 million people are alive today thanks to this man's creation of PEPFAR, the U.S. AIDS program that has been saving lives and preventing new HIV infections for over 10 years, with strong support from political leaders right, left, and center. That progress is all at risk now with President Trump's budget cuts, which will mean needless infections and lives lost. – Bono
“More than 11 million people are alive today thanks to this man’s creation of PEPFAR, the U.S. AIDS program that has been saving lives and preventing new HIV infections for over 10 years, with strong support from political leaders right, left, and center. That progress is all at risk now with President Trump’s budget cuts, which will mean needless infections and lives lost.” – Bono
Bush’s Instagram also published the image and he shares his admiration for Bono, even poking his infamous humor into the post.
“Bono is the real deal. He has a huge heart and a selfless soul, not to mention a decent voice. @laurawbush and I are grateful he came to the ranch to talk about the work of @thebushcenter, @onecampaign, @PEPFAR, and our shared commitment to saving lives in Africa.” – @georgewbush Instagram
Bush has been very vocal in attempting to curtail the potential PEPFAR cuts by President Trump and Congress. He published an editorial in the Washington Post earlier this year, PEPFAR saves millions of lives in Africa. Keep it fully funded.
Congress will vote on the budget in Q4 of this year.
Let’s hope that Congress and President Trump become as friendly with PEPFAR as Bush and Bono have become.