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This Republican Ex-President Will Be Honored on World AIDS Day

Photo by Aaron Kittredge for Pexels

The Global Leadership Coalition will give an award to this divisive figure in December.

Former President George W. Bush is returning to Washington with his wife, Laura, in December, where they’ll be recognized for their work on the international fight against HIV and AIDS.

ABC News reported that the Bushes will receive the Global Leadership Award for establishing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, in 2003. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition announced Thursday that it will honor Bush and the former first lady on World AIDS Day, December 1, during its annual Tribute Celebration.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition is a network comprised of 500 businesses and nongovernmental organizations. National security and foreign policy experts alongside business, religious, academic, military and community leaders from across the United States join to support the investment in development and diplomacy alongside defense.

PEPFAR is noted as the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease. The U.S. government has spent nearly $100 billion toward HIV response since its inception. It’s saved upward of 21 million lives and prevented millions of infections from increasing burdens in more than 50 countries, most notably Africa and the Caribbean.

Liz Schrayer, president and CEO of the coalition, called the program “one of the most significant achievements in global health in our lifetime.” She also sang praises about the Bush’s “transformational leadership” when they launched it 20 years ago.

In September, Laura Bush also served as a guest of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill when they presented Elton John with a surprise award at the South Lawn for his advocacy in the HIV fight.

While the Bushes may be revered for their HIV work, the former president is not remembered fondly for his interventionist war in Iraq nor his targeting of same-sex marriage during his reelection in 2004.

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