- 03 Dec 18
U2 singer Bono praised the former US president’s global health initiative on World AIDS Day.
“I’ve become very fond of him,” Bono said. “Underneath his armor, there’s passion, compassion. He has it.”
Bono said last year that he estimated "more than 11 million people are alive today thanks to this man’s creation of PEPFAR, the US Aids program that has been saving lives and preventing new HIV infections for over 10 years".
In a new interview on The Today Show, Bono was asked by co-host Jenna Bush Hager (yes, her daddy is George W. Bush): “Do you remember the first time you met my dad?”
“Yeah, well, he didn’t want to see me, which is fair enough,” Bono recalled. “Different political views and whatever. I was the guy who had to come into the office and get him to look up from his big oak table, there in the Oval Office, to let his values tell him what to do.”
Bono then praised Bush for his funding of PEPFAR during his time in the White House.
PEPFAR is the US president’s emergency plan for aids relief and it was launched during the Bush administration in 2003 to “address the HIV/Aids pandemic that threatened to wipe out an entire generation on the continent of Africa”.
Bono told Jenna: “I think we’ve got to cut through the shenanigans of political cartooning and see that some people can have different views and still be principled people."
Bono added: “I’ve become very fond of him. Underneath his armor, there’s passion, compassion. He has it.”
George W. Bush said Bono is "the real deal" when the U2 frontman visited him at his Texas ranch in 2017.
"Laura Bush and I are grateful he came to the ranch to talk about the work of The Bush Center, One campaign,PEPFAR, and our shared commitment to saving lives in Africa.”
At the time, Bono pointed out: “More than 11 million people are alive today thanks to this man’s creation of PEPFAR, the US Aids program that has been saving lives and preventing new HIV infections for over 10 years, with strong support from political leaders right, left and center.
“That progress is all at risk now with President Trump’s budget cuts, which will mean needless infections and lives lost.”