Stay committed to Global Fund
At the height of the AIDS crisis nearly two decades ago, the world came together to fight back, creating the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This international partnership has helped save 27 million lives since 2002. This is stunning progress, but we cannot claim victory yet.
I myself have personal family experience with TB. We are lucky to have access to the available treatments, however behind the times they may be. Unfortunately, HIV and TB treatments aren’t reaching everyone who needs them and progress on tackling malaria has stalled. There are major challenges, but with vigilance we can end these epidemics. Since the beginning, the U.S. has played a leading role in the Global Fund, providing a full one-third of its financial resources. That must continue.
The Global Fund needs at least $14 billion to help save 16 million lives by 2022. I urge our members of Congress and President Trump to continue strong support for the Global Fund by recommitting to provide at least one-third of the total needed to step up the fight, save more lives, and move us closer to ending these diseases.
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Loss of Shopko blow to Sturgis
Shopko’s closing is going to be a major blow to the Sturgis community. I disagree with the Sturgis Economic Development committee in saying existing stores like the Ace Hardware can pick up the slack. Since when can I go to Ace Hardware and buy a pair of Nike shoes or a pair of jeans? As far as I am concerned, Sturgis cannot take up the slack for Shopko’s closing, because it is kind of hard for empty buildings, bars and pizza shops to pick up the slack and keep shoppers from traveling to neighboring communities to buy their back-to-school needs.