The US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson must be wondering how it came to be that his prepared speech at the press conference organised by the Global Fund turned out to be a non-event.
For the 30 minutes he read his speech, his voice was buried in a volley of boos that came from a group of AIDS activists who had stormed the well-attended conference to “blow the whistle on Tommy Thompson (and President George Bush) for crimes against people with AIDS.”
The subject of the protest was “inadequate funds coming from the US Government to the Global Fund, which has hampered the ability of the world body to fight the spread of the AIDS scourge.”
Protesters said they were angered when Thompson said that the US was the largest contributor to the global fund, whereas, “in reality, Sweden contributed seven times more, and Rwanda ten times more, as a percentage of their GDP.”
Some of the placards brought to the conference by the protesting activists read: “Where is the $10 billion?,” and “Wanted: Bush and Thompson for murder and neglect of PWAs.”
AIDS 2002 Conference News produced by Health & Development Networks/Key Correspondent Team