-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: George W. Bush and AIDS policy
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 16:49:27 -0500
From: Drake, David
To: Gardner Selby <wgselby@statesman.com>

Here is a detailed response to your request for verification:

This is from Jay Lefkowitz's detailed recapitulation of the issue; he worked on the issue in the White House for the President and wrote a piece in Commentary on it. Also, the reason we have 17 instead of 18 months (as Jay does) is because the June 19, 2002 date we use is one day shy of seventeen months (instead of eighteen months).

"On May 11, [Bush] gathered in the Rose Garden with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to announce a maiden contribution of $200 million (subsequently increased to $500 million) to a new international AIDS fund now known as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. ... The global fund to which President Bush had already promised support was formally launched in January 2002. By now, our Mother and Child initiative had become sufficiently fleshed out to present to Bush. The objective was to increase the availability of preventive care, including drug treatments, and to devise delivery systems that would reach pregnant women and newborn children in two Caribbean nations and eight African ones (with four to be added later). At a detailed briefing in the Roosevelt Room in June, the President embraced the plan, as well as its price tag of $500 million, and announced it the same month." (Commentary Magazine, 1/09)

* "Together with the $500 million given to the Global Aids Fund, this meant that, only eighteen months into his tenure, Bush had doubled U.S. spending on the international AIDS crisis. But it was only the beginning. Even before announcing the new initiative, Bush had told Bolten that, while "a great start, it's not nearly enough," and encouraged him to come back with fresh ideas." (Commentary Magazine, 1/09
And here is a more basic timeline of events that independently verifies our numbers (see underlined).

In April 2001, Global Fund proposed by UNSG Annan. "The fund was proposed by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in April, when he called for a 'war chest' of $7 billion to $10 billion annually to halt AIDS, which has hit Africa hardest and become the continent's primary killer." (The Associated Press, 6/19/01)

In May 2001, U.S. made $200 million commitment. "With the Nigerian president and the United Nations secretary-general at his side, President Bush on Friday pledged $200 million - and promised more money later - for fighting AIDS and other diseases ravaging Africa." (The Associated Press, 5/11/01)

In late May 2001, UK and France announced contributions. "Britain announced on Thursday that it would give $106.5 million, and France announced a donation of $125 million." (The New York Times, 6/2/01)

In June 2001, Winterthur Insurance became first corporate donor. "Winterthur Insurance [Swiss company] became the first corporate donor to a new U.N. fund to fight AIDS when it announced a $1 million donation Friday." (The Associated Press, 6/8/01)

In June 2001, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made $100 million donation. "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ... donated $100 million to an international health fund to fight AIDS ..." (The Associated Press, 6/19/01)

In January 2002, Global Fund launched first board meeting. "Officials of a global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria will soon meet to develop ... The fund's 18-member policy-setting board will hold its first meeting Jan. 28-29." (The Associated Press, 12/17/01)

* "Even before the global fund has been established, it's received pledges of $528 million - $200 million from the United States, $127 million from France, $100 million from Britain, $100 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and $1 million from Switzerland's Winterthur Insurance. The International Olympic Committee has pledged $100,000 and Annan has donated $100,000 that he received in prize money ..." (The Associated Press, 6/20/01)

In early 2002, U.S. upped its contribution to $500 million. "The fund, proposed with much fanfare by Mr. Annan last spring, has collected $2 billion in pledges, but less than half that will be available this year, officials say. All told, the United States has pledged $500 million -- $100 million in 2001, $200 million this year and the same amount for 2003." (The New York Times, 2/13/02)


David Drake
Sr. VP, Exec. Director of Publicity
The Crown Publishing Group