In what surely manynews outlets will claim is another example of George W. Bush’s public redemption in the press, Bono visited the former president to rally him behind fighting the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts in funding for HIV research. "Bono [warned Bush] that President Donald Trump’s budget cuts could harm the fight against AIDS," ABC News reported.
So why are these two unlikely allies talking about HIV funding anyway? Because both Bono and Bush have been involved for many years with the organization ONE, a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 7 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Bono was playing a concert at a venue near Bush's ranch when Bush invited him to discuss how they could work together on projects.
Trump's proposed cuts would be devastating according to ONE. “Funding for food for starving people is slated to be completely eliminated — a $1.7 billion cut,” said Tom Hart, ONE’s North American executive director, in an official statement responding to the proposed cuts. “Funding for development assistance worldwide would be cut by nearly half; funding for global health programs would be cut by 25 percent; and funding to fight HIV/AIDS would be cut by 10 percent — almost $1 billion.”
In a posting on Instagram, Bush said that “Bono is the real deal. He has a huge heart and a selfless soul, not to mention a decent voice. @laurawbush and I are grateful he came to the ranch to talk about the work of @thebushcenter, @onecampaign, @PEPFAR, and our shared commitment to saving lives in Africa."
Bono went on to praise Bush and criticized Trump on ONE's Instagram page. "More than 11 million people are alive today thanks to this man's creation of PEPFAR, the U.S. AIDS program that has been saving lives and preventing new HIV infections for over 10 years, with strong support from political leaders right, left, and center," stated Bono. "That progress is all at risk now with President Trump's budget cuts, which will mean needless infections and lives lost."