New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has been traveling in Ethiopia with Jimmy Carter, where the former president's Carter Center has been tackling several devastating--but preventable-- infectious diseases like river blindness and malaria that destroy millions of lives. Kristof writes that Carter is "leading a private war on disease that should inspire and shame President Bush and other world leaders into joining." Kristof challenges George Bush: "How about if we as a nation join Mr. Carter's war on diseases that afflict the world's poorest peoples -- and are one reason they are so poor. That's a war that would unite Americans, not divide them. Come on, Mr. Bush, sound the trumpets!"
With all due respect, it's not "Mr. Carter's war on diseases." While Kristof has been traveling the world, something quite remarkable has been happening here at home: a groundswell of interest in Africa, and a "war against diseases" of the developing world that counts among its generals Bill Gates, Bono, Warren Buffett, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Sachs, and, yes, Jimmy Carter.
Two months ago, at a White House Summit on Malaria, a new nonprofit organization called Malaria No More was launched to mobilize a massive grassroots campaign throughout the U.S. to deliver bed nets to African villages to protect children and pregnant women from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. A $10 donation buys one bed net. Check it out, Mr. Kristof.