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Opinion Pieces Express Support for PEPFAR, Urge Continued Funding

Washington Post: George W. Bush: PEPFAR saves millions of lives in Africa. Keep it fully funded.
George W. Bush, former U.S. president and founder of the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas

“…It is clear that the generosity of the American people has had a huge impact — one that reflects the view that all lives are precious, and to whom much is given, much is required. [The] lifesaving work [of PEPFAR] also has a practical purpose for Americans. Societies mired in disease breed hopelessness and despair, leaving people ripe for recruitment by extremists. 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. 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” (4/7).

Huffington Post: A Bush-Obama Alliance Might Save PEPFAR
Philip Seib, professor at the University of Southern California

“…At a time of global consternation about how America views its relationships with the rest of the world, protecting the commitment to PEPFAR is particularly important. … Given its remarkable record, PEPFAR should be proudly sustained by whoever occupies the White House, but in the current political atmosphere all aid programs are vulnerable to drastic budget cuts or even elimination. The behavior of Donald Trump’s administration and Congress is unpredictable, to put it mildly, and so Presidents Bush and Obama should join forces to ensure that PEPFAR continues. If need be, the two former presidents should appear together at the appropriate congressional hearing to support PEPFAR funding. Such a bipartisan gesture — an exceedingly rare occurrence these days — would capture the public’s attention and generate political momentum. PEPFAR would be protected. … The moral and political case for PEPFAR remains strong. Presidents Bush and Obama should rally bipartisan support for the program’s funding, and President Trump should endorse their effort. George W. Bush and the American people can be proud of what PEPFAR has accomplished so far. It deserves the chance to do more” (4/9).

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