For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 2, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a "ONE" Campaign Event
Minneapolis Convention Center
3:06 P.M. CDT
MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much, Cindy. Thanks a lot. Thank you all. Thanks to everybody who's come out today to put these kits together. Thank you all. Thanks so much.
I am very happy to be here today to be with all of you as we put these kits together for World Vision and for the ONE Campaign. I am really proud of what the United States has done and what I've been able to, on behalf of the people of the United States, represent to the people of Africa. I've had five trips to Africa since George has been President. When I'm there, I go to programs that are supported by PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; or to programs supported by PMI, the President's Malaria Initiative; or to schools where girls and boys are in school with textbooks that are paid for by the United States, the generosity of the people of the United States through the Africa Education Initiative.
It's been my privilege to be able to represent every one of you. And we couldn't -- the United States government's help that comes through these three programs that are supported so strongly by member -- both sides of the aisle, members of Congress that make these programs possible, but they couldn't be the deliverer of help if they didn't partner with groups like World Vision. World Vision, a number of other faith-based and community-based groups are our partners that make sure this healing help gets to people in every one of the countries that PEPFAR directs their monies to, or PMI, the President's Malaria Initiative directs attention to. These are the countries that are hardest hit by malaria, by HIV/AIDS. And just as Senator Frist said, we have really good results with a number of people who are now on antiretrovirals.
When I was in Zambia with the World Vision, I got to hear the Lazarus effect that antiretrovirals have on people who are literally dying, and then these caregivers who we're filling the kits for today, in this case, in Zambia ride their bicycles out into the neighborhoods. They find these people who are sick, they start to take care of them, they make sure they get on antiretrovirals. And then I got to see the results of that, the people who are now well, who can work, who are gardening, who are growing their own food so they can have the good nutrition that's necessary with antiretrovirals, when you're on antiretrovirals. And it was just a huge thrill to be able to see everything that World Vision does.
And this is a consortium of many, many helpers -- not all American, but many are American: a bicycle company that gave these bicycles that the caregivers give; toy companies that gave dolls that the caregivers could take out for the little children that they -- the children of their patients or the patients themselves many times are children.
It's been such a privilege for me to be able to see that, to see how you have helped, how all of the people of the United States, through your generosity, have literally brought people back to life.
So this gives me the chance to thank each and every one of you. I have no worries I can tell the ONE Campaign. I know that whoever is elected will continue this, because it is so effective, and because people depend on us, and because, just like Princess said and President Bush said, to whom much is given much is required. And certainly we are so blessed in the United States.
So thank you all. I want to make a special shout out to Mike Gerson, if he's here, for his great and creative work in developing PEPFAR and PMI. And thank you all very much. Thank you, Senator Frist. Thank you, David. Appreciate it. (Applause.)
END 3:11 P.M. CDT