Former President George W. Bush was “back in the hood” on Tuesday to deliver an address on global health. Bush called isolationism “dangerous” and warned that the U.S. faces an “enemy that can only recruit when they find hopeless people.”
“The challenge is that in some parts of the world and in some parts of our country, some are saying, ‘Is it worth it? Does it matter whether or not we help save a life on the continent of Africa? We’ve got our own problems here at home,’ they say. This is isolationism which is dangerous,” Bush told the “Summit to Save Lives” in Washington on Tuesday after joking that it’s “nice to be back in the hood.”
“It’s dangerous because one of the lessons of September the 11th is what happens overseas matters here at home,” Bush continued. “When there’s hopelessness it affects the security of the United States of America. We face an enemy that can only recruit when they find hopeless people and there’s nothing more hopeless to a child who loses a mom or dad to AIDS to watch the wealthy nations of the world sit back and do nothing. It is in our moral interests as a nation that we help deal with diseases.”
Bush announced “Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon,” a partnership between The George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to combat cervical and breast cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
Bush addressed the audience prior to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “I appreciate my dear wife Laura — one time I’m giving a speech, I said she was the greatest First Lady ever and then realized my mother was in the audience and I know First Lady Clinton is in the audience too,” he joked.