It's Recess-time Somewhere

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July 01, 2005

It Depends on What the Definition of 'Support' is

In another attempt to decieve the public, The Bush Administration claims to be helping AIDS patients gain access to life-extending drugs.

As global leaders gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World
Economic Forum in January, officials from President Bush's $15 billion
anti-AIDS program issued a news release citing their accomplishments.
Nowhere were the numbers more impressive than in Botswana, where
32,839 AIDS patients were receiving life-extending treatment with the
help of the U.S. government, they said.

But thousands of miles away in Botswana, the Bush administration's
claim provoked frustration and anger among public and private partners
that had built Africa's most far-reaching AIDS treatment program,
recalled those involved. Although the Bush program had promised
millions of dollars of support, no money had yet arrived, they said.

The operations manager of Botswana's treatment program, Segolame
Ramotlhwa, called the U.S. figures "a gross misrepresentation of the
facts." His boss, Patson Mazonde, who as deputy permanent secretary
for health services had overseen the program since its inception in
2002, called the Bush claim "false" but suggested it was merely a

They agreed on the number of patients in Botswana who had been put
on treatment because of the Bush program: zero.


The dispute essentially comes down to a question of how to define
"support." In March, in an annual report on the program, the Bush
administration said support could include general "system
strengthening" -- a category so broad that it could allow officials to
claim to have supported treatment of any AIDS patient who benefited,
however indirectly, from U.S. government assistance.


The definition used for measuring support, he said, had broadened
to the point that even assistance as trivial as editing a government
health official's speeches could allow the Bush program to say it had
supported treatment for everyone receiving antiretrovirals from that
nation's public health system.

What a lying sack of monkey turds! People are dying over there, and all he cares about is taking credit for saving them, when in reality, he's helping very little.

In his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush stunned AIDS activists
by announcing a $15 billion commitment over five years to fight the disease.


The total outlay of U.S. government funds for "treatment" in
Botswana last year was $2.5 million, about one-twentieth of the amount
paid by the Botswana government. And even that money was delayed by
many months.

He said $15 billion over five years, and last year he provided $2.5 million. For those of you that don't have a calculator handy, that's 1/6000th. And if we give him the benefit of the doubt that he's going to contribute the same amount in each of the next five years, thats 1/1200th.