U2 singer and philanthropist Bono has received an award for his good work in helping combat HIV/Aids, alleviate poverty, and similar humanitarian work
The 57-year-old was recognized with the first-ever Geroge W. Bush medal for Distinguished Leadership on Thursday, April 19. The award was handed to him by the 43rd President of the United States himself during a sit-down panel in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Bush Center in Dallas.
Meeting Of Minds
In a video posted on YouTube, Bush praised the rock icon for his incredible work. The former politician started the conversation by saying that Bono accepting the award is a huge honor for his organization.
"It's a huge honor to [win] this award, and I'm here to honor your leadership on the greatest health intervention in the history of medicine," the singer-songwriter responded. "That's what I'm not sure people understand: 13 million from PEPFAR, and if you add the Global Relief Fund, it's probably been 21 million lives have been saved by this work that you began and led and I'm here to honor that."
PEPFAR, which stands for President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, is a government initiative created to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, not just in the United States but all over the world. It was created back in 2003 while Bush was in the White House.
According to the Rolling Stones, Bono specifically met Bush in 2002 to persuade the president to contribute financial support for his humanitarian efforts, particularly the HIV/AIDS epidemic and poverty in third world countries.
After their first meeting in the White House, Bono then accompanied Bush in a public engagement where the politician pledged a $5 billion aid for third world countries.
Bono Criticizes Donald Trump
In the same conversation, the multiple Grammy winner is also concerned whether President Donald J. Trump's administration will continue to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.
"Tackling a virus like this, if you're not as fast or faster than the virus, it's outrunning you," he explained. "So all the progress that we made over the years can be undone."
This is not the first time that Bono criticized Trump's White House. In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel Live last year, he said that while he is willing to speak and work with anyone, he does not approve of the current president.
U2 released a new album Songs of Experience last year. The band is scheduled for a North American tour called eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE that will kick off in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 2.