At the June 2003 G8 summit in Evian, France, President George W. Bush met with the other heads of state at a private dinner. There, according to sources close to two dinner guests, he promised the Europeans that if they gave $1 billion to a new joint AIDS fund, he would match it. But by July, Bush was urging Congress to supply no more than $200 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. “I think everybody felt fooled,” says a Global Fund official.
Ultimately, Congress rebelled, increasing the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to $547 million, but Bush has again budgeted only $200 million for the Global Fund in 2005. The president fails to mention these skirmishes when he claims that his administration is leading the world in the war on AIDS.