Perhaps we’ve warmed a bit to the “guy-I’d-drink-a-beer-with” president since Barack Obama spent 8 years undoing the mess he made of our country (and world, frankly). After all, he makes paintings for veterans, and show up on TV struggling to put on a poncho. He’s a normal guy, even kind of funny. But these lovable traits do NOT necessarily make for a good president. Indeed, when he left office, however, George W. Bush was anything but well-liked.
So it leaves particularly poignant sting when that man who was rather unpopular when he turn over the White House to Obama – a man who is as Republican as a man can be – comes out swinging against another Republican president. But that’s what just happened when Bush wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post slamming Donald Trump for his plans to de-fund one of his own “babies.”
That baby is PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, and it – like thousands of other programs that do good for the world – is on on Trump’s budget chopping block. Bush explains the genesis of PEPFAR:
My administration launched PEPFAR in 2003 to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic that threatened to wipe out an entire generation on the continent of Africa. Nearly 15 years later, the program has achieved remarkable results in the fight against disease. Today, because of the commitment of many foreign governments, investments by partners, the resilience of the African people and the generosity of the American people, nearly 12 million lives have been saved. And nearly 2 million babies have been born HIV-free to infected mothers.
President Bush recalls stories of new lives with new chances he and his wife, Laura, have witness through the work of PEPFAR and other organizations like Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, which is a powerful figure in the fight against breast cancer and cervical cancer worldwide. Bush believes these programs are effective and good, and that they only exist because of the generosity of nations like ours,”When we confront suffering — when we save lives — we breathe hope into devastated populations, strengthen and stabilize society, and make our country and the world safer.”
He closes by making a passionate plea for Trump to rethink chopping such a meaningful program from our budget:
As the executive and legislative branches review the federal budget, they will have vigorous debates about how best to spend taxpayers’ money — and they should. Some will argue that we have enough problems at home and shouldn’t spend money overseas. I argue that we shouldn’t spend money on programs that don’t work, whether at home or abroad. But they should fully fund programs that have proven to be efficient, effective and results-oriented. Saving nearly 12 million lives is proof that PEPFAR works, and I urge our government to fully fund it. We are on the verge of an AIDS-free generation, but the people of Africa still need our help. The American people deserve credit for this tremendous success and should keep going until the job is done.
If you support PEPFAR, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, and other proven, effective programs that help us share our abundance of wealth with a suffering world, share this on your own page. Make your voice heard!