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Obama Addresses World AIDS Day

President-elect Barack Obama honored World AIDS Day today, releasing online his video remarks to the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health hosted by Pastor Rick Warren in Washington, D.C.:

Hello everyone. Thank you for allowing me to send my greetings and to share a few words with you on this special day. It's my privilege to thank Pastor Rick, Kay and all of you for your leadership in the struggle against HIV/AIDS, and your steadfast commitment to eradicating this disease.

On this twentieth anniversary of World AIDS Day, I think it's appropriate to look back for a moment to when this day was first observed. In 1988, when ministers of health from around the world first had the notion to set aside a day to highlight the threat of HIV/AIDS, they faced widespread ignorance and fear. Back then, many refused to even acknowledge the existence of this disease, let alone the devastating impact it was having on families and communities around the world.

Today, because of the work of people like you, women in Kenya who were widowed by the disease, and once shunned by society, have banded together to support and empower each other. Scientists around the world are discovering and engineering new medicines to give people with HIV/AIDS another chance at life. NGOs and faith-based institutions are marshaling the best of the human spirit to help those affected. And world governments are coming together to address the humanitarian crisis the pandemic has left in its wake. I salute President Bush for his leadership in crafting a plan for AIDS relief in Africa and backing it up with funding dedicated to saving lives and preventing the spread of the disease. And my administration will continue this critical work to address the crisis around the world.

But we must also recommit ourselves to addressing the AIDS crisis here in the United States with a strong national strategy of education, prevention and treatment, focusing on those communities at greatest risk. This strategy must be based on the best available science and built on the foundation of a strong health care system.

But in the end this epidemic can't be stopped by government alone, and money alone is not the answer either. All of us must do our part.

This year's slogan, "Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise" is a timely one. In the Apostle Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he asked "if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?" We as leaders must continue to sound that call and encourage others to see themselves as leaders in this fight. And we must reaffirm our own commitment to confront and defeat this disease once and for all.

Thank you for your extraordinary work that you do each and every day. I am humbled by your devotion to this cause and look forward to working with you and new partners in this effort in the years ahead. God bless you all.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 1, 2008; 12:09 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Primary Source  
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Next: Bush: Obama's High Profile Is No 'Intrusion'

Comments

Karen Pease:

Please, Bessey, don't dispair. I posted the $18.8 billion figure, but much more is pledged, and Bush has spent over $100 billion total to fight HIV/AIDS.

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I read the article and felt a spark of hope, then read the comments and experienced a flicker of despair. It is World AIDS Day. I hope we CAN keep the promise. I'd like to see us focus on what is being done about this terrible disease--because there's no room for politics in something that concerns all humanity. Karen Pease, author of juvenile fiction, www.karenbesseypease.com.

Posted by: KarenPease | December 1, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

AHN and World.com are the only two sources I've seen so far:

http://www.worldmag.com/webextra/14730

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Again, my hypothesis is that the WaPo thinks only The Messiah's response to anything, not the underlying event itself, is newsworthy -- it didn't just start on Election Day either -- this is just one more example of that.

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I guess we'll see if the MSM-blackout continues tonight then, with 24/7 Messiah worship instead. I mean, why doesn't Bush just step down and let Obama take over now?

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't find any story on President Bush being "honored" in the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, or even FoxNews.com (except in the context of Obama praising President Bush for his work on AIDS). I found something in USA Today about President Bush making an announcement marking World AIDS Day on the front lawn of the White House (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-12-01-bush-aids_N.htm).

So basically no news source has found it newsworthy that President Bush is being "honored." And like I said, this blog is about Obama's "Transition to Power," not about President Bush.

Posted by: redblackturtle | December 1, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't find ANY WaPo article on President Bush being honored today. So, please spare me the unbiased media spiel.

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

This blog is called "Transition to Power," JakeD. Of course it's focused on what Obama says.

Posted by: redblackturtle | December 1, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'll just tell you since the WaPo thinks only The Messiah's response to anything, not the underlying event itself, is newsworthy:

Pastor Rick Warren will present President George W. Bush with the first “International Medal of PEACE” from the Global PEACE Coalition in recognition of his contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases during the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health, to be held in Washington, D.C.
on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.

The “International Medal of PEACE” is given on behalf of the Global PEACE Coalition for outstanding contribution toward alleviating the five global giants recognized by the Coalition, including pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, self-centered leadership and spiritual emptiness. The Coalition is a network of churches, businesses and individuals cooperating together to solve humanitarian issues through the PEACE Plan, an effort to mobilize 1 billion Christians to Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation.

During the Forum, Warren will recognize President Bush and his Administration for their implementation and success of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has provided $18.8 billion since 2003 to combat global HIV/AIDS.

(You know "Action Speaks Louder than Words" ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Here's a hint: "I salute President Bush for his leadership in crafting a plan for AIDS relief in Africa and backing it up with funding dedicated to saving lives and preventing the spread of the disease."

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

WaPo: and who is Pastor Rick honoring today?

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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