Regarding "The president's bright idea" (Other Views, July 5):
While discussing U.S. successes in Africa and its large needs for electricity, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson makes an alarming parenthetical remark: "though the recent cuts to PEPFAR, the president's emergency plan for AIDS relief, have been disturbing."
PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria have transformed the fight against these preventable diseases. This is not a time to retreat from the gains we achieved with the Global Fund. This multilateral fund is led by the United States, and every dollar we invest is matched by two dollars from other funding nations.
The Global Fund has been effective, accountable and transparent. Our bipartisan support has made great gains possible.
The fund is critically important for us in Tampa. We are very vulnerable to TB, an international killer with no boundaries, an airborne disease that can be brought by anyone who has been abroad.
And we have a chance to do what seemed impossible not very long ago. We can use the ongoing achievements of the Global Fund to create a future where children born perhaps 20 years from now won't even know what AIDS is!
This fall, the Global Fund has its triennial replenishment conference. The president and Congress must keep the U.S. leading the way by maintaining at least our present level of funding.