President Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton put their political preferences aside for a much greater cause: "The Beginning of the End of AIDS."
The star-studded event was sponsored by ONE and (RED) -- organizations that are committed to combating global poverty and AIDS -- and was hosted by George Washington University.
In addition to the presidents, the panel included:
- Bono, the co-founder of the sponsoring organizations and lead singer of U2;
- Singer Alicia Keys;
- Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida;
- Rep. Barbara Lee of California;
- Muhtar Kent, president and CEO of The Coca Cola Company; and
- Kay Warren, founder of the Saddleback Church's HIV and AIDS Initiative; and
- Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, who moderated the event.
At the forum, President Obama aggressively pledged a cost-effective surge of American support to help prevent the spread of AIDS, including antiretroviral drugs for pregnant women and more than a billion condoms for men worldwide.
He even praised Bush's leadership on AIDS-relief efforts and commended his emergency plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR) as one of President Bush's greatest legacies.
(Finally, some bipartisan bromance!)
Passionately, Bono described the increasing threat of AIDS infection worldwide as a "war" and those infected as "casualties." In a ONE campaign video ad, Bono quotes that more than 5,500 Africans die daily from the virus that could be slowed through the use of only two pills.
Bono has been a leader in the fight against poverty and AIDS, and helped to create the ONE Campaign, DATA, (RED) and EDUN, a clothing company that is striving to stimulate trade with poverty stricken countries.
This was a great event for a great cause!
Join the fight: ONE Campaign
Extra bonus: Bono was also on CNN Thursday with our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- who praised the efforts of Presidents Bush, Clinton and Obama in their efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in the developing world. Here is the video; and here is the transcript.
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