July 17, 2012
Last year, Elton John urged Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to protect a government program (ADAP) that provided medication to low-income HIV/AIDS patients. Then-Surgeon General Frank Farmer responded with the counter-intuitive reasoning that cutbacks were necessary because the demand for the drugs exceeded the resources available. Instead, he suggested that John come to Florida to perform a fundraising concert for ADAP. Today on NPR, John explained how unhelpful that response was for the kind of work the Elton John AIDS Foundation does: JOHN: [EJAF is] an AIDS organization, and whenever anybody’s funding is cut — and it’s usually cut, especially in this case in Florida, [for] the people that can afford it least … then we’re going to write a letter about it. And we wrote a letter to [Florida Gov. Rick Scott] himself. … It’s not my job to [fund a state's AIDS program]. It’s the government’s priority to do that. I can’t do benefit concerts for Florida, for the people with AIDS in Florida. It’s their responsibility; they need to do what’s right. And cutting funding for the people that [can] least afford it is criminal.