United States Must Not Wait to Help Africa Combat AIDS
Calling AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa "the outbreak of World War III," syndicated columnist Christopher Matthews says in a Washington Times op-ed, "If this World War III continues for even a handful more years, it will kill more humans on this one continent than the 50 million on every front and death camp in World War II." Matthews notes that "the flood of HIV and AIDS is, tragically, of biblical might," and adds that it is afflicting "the best and brightest" of Africans "on whose shoulders its struggling nations most depend." Matthews questions the United States' response to the pandemic, asking, "Will we wait, as we did in the years before Pearl Harbor, hoping the danger might be arrested somewhere beyond our shores?" Noting that Secretary of State Colin Powell last week called AIDS a "national security problem" that "requires our attention, and Congress has to be generous," Matthews asks, "Will we build the necessary popular support for the campaign here at home? Will we bring the overwhelming force needed to destroy the enemy in the field?" With Peace Corps volunteers serving as the "only battalions fighting on the front lines" thus far, Matthews writes, "For Mr. Powell and for President Bush, the question is, who will lead this fight in Africa? If not the United States, this country of huge medical might and historic wealth, then who?" Proposing that former President Clinton "carry the U.S. banner," Matthews says that Clinton's new Harlem office would be "an excellent command post from which to champion the American campaign against a global menace that is killing at greaterThis is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.