It came almost two years after the Boston Globe exposed it, but the Washington Post on April 6 acknowledged that the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Africa has been grossly exaggerated by the United Nations in order to generate money through the world body to spend on the disease. In an April 10 editorial, the Post admitted, “The United Nations’ credibility on AIDS will now suffer.” So should the credibility of the media for taking the world organization seriously.
The Post editorial declared, “It’s been clear for a while that UNAIDS, the agency responsible for these statistics, was reluctant to contemplate good strategies for fighting AIDS lest these undermine global support for expanded funding.” The Post found the U.N. guilty of publishing “dubious AIDS data.”
The FAIR Foundation, which stands for Fair Allocations in Research, had known about and exposed the dubious data. On its website, it highlighted how the UN AIDS office, the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and AIDS activists “continually speak of AIDS decimating the world and use that argument to argue for more research funding.” It had posted the John Donnelly Boston Globe article of June 20, 2004, explaining how the figures had been exaggerated.
“Recent studies in Kenya have confirmed millions of Africans previously thought to have AIDS are disease free,” noted the FAIR Foundation. In Kenya, as the BCC reported on January 9, 2004, estimates had put the figure at 15 percent, when a subsequent survey found only 6.7 percent infected.
That’s January 9, 2004?more than two years before the Post published its correction of the record.
What the Post didn’t acknowledge is the role it played in this fiasco. But writing in Human Events, Tom Bethell commented, “Back in 2000, the Washington Post was one of the main sources of hype about AIDS in Africa.”
He explains: “The wildly exaggerated claims promoted by the mainstream media created an atmosphere of crisis. Guided by U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Secretary of State Albright, the Clinton Administration took the issue of impending population collapse to the U.N. Security Council. African countries weren’t going to be able to field armies or defend themselves because so many young men would soon be on their death beds.”
Bethell says his new book, the Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, deals with this manufactured “crisis” over AIDS.