As chairman of local charity Desana Inc., I feel blessed that I am able to help those less fortunate, both here in America and around the world. To me, this is what true American leadership is: providing a helping hand, so that the world’s poorest can live free from the preventable grips of AIDS, hunger and extreme poverty.
But this may all change.
Over the next two weeks, the U.S. Senate will decide — in its discussion involving international relief budgeting — whether it is worth 40 cents a day to help a mother with HIV live a healthy, normal life; or whether it is worth a $10 bed net for a child to sleep free from the threat of a malaria-carrying mosquito’s bite. I’m going to let Sen. Bob Corker (who sits on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee) know that to answer “no” to these types of questions is to undermine what America does best — helping others help themselves. I hope others will do the same.
There are many ways to cut the budget — and I agree it must be done. But for less than 1 percent of our federal budget, we can continue saving and improving the lives of the millions who live on less than $1.25 a day in places like Africa. Let’s lower the deficit in a way that actually makes sense, not in a way that withholds medicines and costs lives.