31 May 2002
AIDS Workers: 'The Heroes Of The Day'
A powerful photo gallery and audio commentary by Bono, all about the O'Neill
Africa trip is just live on USA Today.
It's here ad.usatoday.com
And here is the interview Bono gave to USA Today about his trip with
Q: Did you think either of you would change?
A: No ... but we're not disagreeing about the objective. Look: We talk, we
argue, we debate, we fight. That's the kind of people I'm comfortable
around. I'm in a band. I miss the din of argument. I need to be around that.
I grew up with that. Dublin is a city full of the din of argument.
Q: Was the trip worthwhile? Would you go again?
A: Yep. I've always been attracted to tough guys; (O'Neill is) an
Irish-American tough guy. He's not in the back of the plane telling the
press corps that everything's possible. He's trying to reduce expectations
all the time. But I know that behind that, he is angry at the bureaucracies
that are leaving these people behind. ...
I keep trying to get him to commit to more money because it's quite obvious
that we need a lot more money. He won't. He wants to go back to his
president and he wants to go back to Congress. ...
But I am confident his business acumen can be applied to these quite complex
Q: What image will stay with you from this trip?
A: We met these women in Uganda. ... These were AIDS workers traveling town
to town, proselytizing about safe sex and empowering women and men to come
out if they were HIV-positive. And I asked, "Where do these women get their
passion from?" I was told they're all HIV-positive themselves. I looked at
them. They were singing with such great joy. I thought, "How could this be?"
Then I realized ... these are the firemen running up the burning building.
These are the heroes of the day. And they know, all of them, that they're
going to die because they can't afford the dollar a day it would take to
keep them alive.
Q: You often speak and sing of the America you admire. How did the people
you met view America?
A: As the secretary of the Treasury goes around Africa and I'm with him,
they don't know me from Adam. They're not playing U2 records on the radio.
It's the reception the United States gets that is something to see. The
people see they're not being abandoned by America.
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