For the second time, the mike takes a while to kick in for a questioner, this time Michel Martin, formerly of ABC, now of NPR. She asks about fighting HIV/AIDS.
Richardson: I think he said he supported distributing needles. Comprehensive education. Then talks about fighting HIV in Africa. I wonder how that will play, since the question was about HIV among African-Americans. Calls Bush’s appropriations on this issue relatively impressive. (THAT won’t go over well.)
Edwards: Over half of new diagnoses of AIDS in America are African-Americans. This is having a disproportionate effect. First need to fully fund finding a cure for AIDS. Fully fund program called Ryan White. Ensure that Medicaid covers AIDS drugs and treatment.
Obama: Prevention requires education. We don’t talk about this. We don’t talk about this in our schools, sometimes we don’t talk about this in our churches. Mentions homophobia, but doesn’t go into detail.
Kucinich: Sex education needs to be a priority at early age. We need to cover the uninsured. Denounces for-profit health care providers, praises Michael Moore.
Gravel goes after the War on Drugs again. Apparently ending the war on drugs will somehow improve African Americans’ health, particularly on HIV/AIDS. “It makes criminals out of people who are not criminals.” Well, Harry Belafonte seems to applaud.
Dodd: It isn’t just AIDS, it’s a wide range of these issues. It isn’t just universal coverage, it’s access to that coverage. (Huh?)
Dodd: I was going to say Global Warming for 600, Tavis.
Tavis: If you were Paris Hilton, you would have an hour, but you’re not, so you don’t.
Hillary: That was good, Tavis. If AIDS were the biggest cause of death for white women, there would be an outrage in this country. (That gets a standing ovation.) Denounces Bush for keeping Ryan White funding flat.
She seems to be connecting with the crowd quite well.
Biden: All the things said here are . There is a policy of neglect, denial. Blames white community. I tried to get black men to understand that it’s not unmanly to wear a condom. Women have to know they have a right to demand it. I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack got tested for AIDS. It’s not a reason for shame.
Ah, Biden can demagogue with the best of ‘em.
Obama: Tavis, I just want to make sure everybody knows I got tested with Michelle!
Okay, that was funny.
Tavis: I’m sure Michelle appreciates you clarifying that.