Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The public face of AIDS (U.S.A.)

The Washington Post writer Michael A. Fleischer reports that the First Lady is now being touted as the public face of AIDS for this administration:
"She's been the face of, as far as the public face of, the U.S. government commitment on AIDS, on human rights, on democracy," McBride [Mrs. Bush's chief of staff] said. "So I think he's seen what all of you have seen -- she's been a voice for the commitments that the U.S. government is making on these issues."

Oh, dear. Is that the same face that forced the withdrawal of a WHO resolution on AIDS treatment?

AUCKLAND, New Zealand A resolution calling for universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment has been withdrawn from the World Health Organization's Asia-Pacific conference because the United States insisted on changing it, senior officials said Friday.

American officials submitted a series of last-minute amendments to remove expressions of support in the resolution for items such as needle exchange programs for drug addicts, said officials at the meeting in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city.

New Zealand Health Minister Pete Hodgson, who chaired WHO's annual weeklong conference of officials from the Western Pacific region, said the U.S. amendments would have watered down the resolution.
Or was the real face of US policy on HIV meant to be hidden while the public face smiles . . . vacuously?

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