George Bush on life after the presidency
On the Fourth of July, George W. Bush wasn’t sitting around watching fireworks. And two days later, on his 66th birthday, you didn’t see him blowing out candles on a cake.
The former president, along with first lady Laura, spent the first week of this month on a mission in Africa — celebrating life in a land plagued by a number of diseases that cause so much death.
In addition to spreading paint while renovating a clinic, Bush also spread a little joy and hope among people delighted that he had come to help them. He said his return to Africa was not as an ex-president, but “as a laborer.”
I’ve criticized Bush for a lot of things he did as president, but I’ve praised him for his humanitarian efforts, particularly his fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases in Africa.
For me his lasting legacy will be not war, but peace; not lives lost, but lives saved; not destruction, but construction.
In 2003 Bush created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar), providing $15 billion for prevention and treatment programs in countries devastated by HIV infections. Congress increased the funding to $48 billion five years later.
The year Pepfar started about 50,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa were on antiretroviral therapy to suppress HIV
Labels: George W. Bush