As Obama launched into his stump speech at an arena in Bridgeport, a group of protesters began heckling him over funding for the global fight against AIDS.
“Excuse me … excuse me,” an irritated looking Obama said before he could finally talk over the shouting. “You’ve been appearing at every rally we’ve been doing. And we’re funding global AIDS (prevention). And the other side is not. So I don’t know why you think this is a useful strategy to take.”
Now this is sad. President Bush increased funding to fight AIDS in Africa to the point where even liberals like Bono were cheering his efforts. Meanwhile, Obama actually scaled back funding.
President Obama has been a huge disappointment to many global health advocates, especially in the HIV/AIDS community. In July, South Africa’s retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu penned an op-ed in the New York Times taking Obama to task for letting anti- AIDS funding stagnate. At the International AIDS conference in Vienna a week later, the president was all but burned in effigy. Now, in the buildup to an important United Nations summit starting Sept. 20, he’s being targeted by a congressional campaign led by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) to double the U.S. contribution to the multilateral Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
It be nice if once in his life, Obama told the truth.