Little knowledge is dangerous they say, but it can get you in real trouble if you are a celebrity. Bono from U2 possibly couldn’t predict the social media bashing that came after he praised US Vice President Mike Pence.
Bono and Mike Pence recently met at the Munich Security Conference held in Germany. At the conference, they talked about ‘Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’ (PEPFAR) and Bono seemed too impressed by the efforts of Pence in curbing the disease.
Poor Bono didn’t do his homework and wasn’t aware of Pence’s role in AIDS control in the past.
In the tenure of President George W. Bush during 2003, $15 billion were allocated for the prevention and treatment of AIDS in developing countries. This fund also supported research intended to improve therapeutic management of the virus. Moreover, it successfully provided anti-retroviral drugs to about 11.5 million people.
The relief fund agreement was favored by Pence, both in 2003 and 2008, who was then a congressman in Indiana. This very act got him praise from Bono who considered this as an ‘extraordinary historic accomplishment’.
Oh, well Bono, who has remained an activist against the spread of HIV/AIDS for years now, should have known the other side of the coin too.
Let’s have a glimpse into the role played by Pence in year 2011 which inevitably led to spiking rate of AIDS.
Advocating the defunding of Planned Parenthood, Pence actually played a very important role in the HIV outbreak. Following this development, in 2013 when Pence took the office of governor, he cut down on public health spending depriving 24,000 Indian’s Scott County residents from the HIV screening test facility.
He had also opposed the ‘Springe Exchange Program’ which aims to provide syringes to drug users at low or no cost. Replacing used syringes with new syringes helps in HIV prevention by discouraging sharing of syringes between users. But sadly Pence didn’t like the idea and turned down its implementation.
However, when the cases of HIV spiked in the region, he signed as ‘emergency declaration’ to initiate a need exchange program, but by that time a lot of damage had already been done.
Oh, now you know where you messed it up Bono.
Some lyrical medicine from your own band might give you some help to recover from the twitterati attack and your oh-so-ignorant blunder.
I have a will for survival
So you can hurt me and hurt me some more
I can live with denial
But you’re not my troubles anymore