For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 20, 2008
President Bush Participates in United States Embassy Greeting, Discusses Malaria
Africa Trip 2008
11:36 A.M. (L)
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, all. First, I want to thank Jordin Sparks for taking time out of her busy schedule to join us here in Ghana, and for performing such a beautiful version of our national anthem. (Applause.) By prevailing on last season's American Idol, Jordin showed the world she has a great voice -- raising awareness about malaria means that she has got great compassion and a big heart.
In addition to some great singing, last year's American Idol featured a fundraising campaign called, "Idol Gives Back." The campaign brought in more than $75 million for charities working in the United States and Africa. Seventeen million dollars went to organizations that protect American families -- African families from malaria. And one of these charities, Malaria No More, has used the donations to provide bed nets for more than 2 million mothers and children in Uganda and Angola and Madagascar and Mali and Zambia.
Last spring Laura and I made an appearance on American Idol -- not because of our voices. (Laughter.) We went on the show to thank viewers for participating in the "Idol Gives Back" campaign. This spring, Fox and American Idol will once again appeal to viewers to help defeat malaria. On April 9th, the show will raise money to fight malaria in Africa and support other worthy causes in the second round of "Idol Gives Back."
Laura and I hope, and Jordin hopes, that America's generosity will still pour forth, and we ask our fellow citizens to contribute to this worthy cause. (Applause.)
END 11:38 A.M. (L)