On Wednesday’s airing of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” the lead singer of the rock band U2 made a plea to host Jon Stewart’s audience for Americans to remain active in the battle to combat AIDS on the eve of World AIDS Day.
Bono also had praise for one American president in particular. Not President Barack Obama or former President Bill Clinton, but instead for President George W. Bush, who, according to Bono, had set a precedent for Obama to follow.
“We’re hoping very much that President Obama is going to follow through on what President Bush did,” Bono said. “I know that’s hard for you to accept. It was amazing. You know, people like John Kerry worked for this and Hillary Clinton, and eventually President Clinton did some extraordinary stuff renegotiating the prices of … very expensive drugs down. But George kind of knocked it out of the park. I can tell you, and I’m actually here to tell you, that America now has 5 million people being kept alive by these drugs. That’s something everybody should know.”
The Irish musician explained why AIDS was a pandemic and said to stem its spread, treatments were important.
“It’s a sort of math thing,” he said. “For every person you treat, two more are infected. That’s how it becomes a pandemic. The moment when you have infections is the moment when you can turn that around and the science is now with us. If you get these people the drugs early, if you get women in particular drugs early who are pregnant, and male circumcision, the third important bit, and then the beginning — the beginning of the end of AIDS if the American people still want to stay with this even in these harsh economic times — that is yours. You will really have turned this around.”
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Update: Bono also appeared on CNN earlier today with their chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He praised the efforts of Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Obama in that appearance for their efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in the developing world. Bono went into particular detail on his discussions on faith with Pres. Bush that “really kick-started” the ONE Campaign’s efforts. (VIDEO here)