World HIV Specialists Appeal to Mbeki to Fire Manto
HIV scientists and specialists around the world have joined together to sign a letter addressed to President Thabo Mbeki, pleading with him to axe Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, before more lives are unnecessarily lost. The 81 signatories include Dr. David Baltimore, who won the 1975 Nobel prize in Medicine for his work on tumour viruses, and Dr. Robert Gallo, one of the men responsible for discovering the HI virus and its link to AIDS. From the letter:
We therefore call for the immediate removal of Dr Tshabalala-Msimang as Minister of Health, and for an end to the disastrous, pseudo-scientific policies that have characterised the South African Government’s response to HIV/AIDS.
There’s something that the global community does not understand about Mbeki, though. He supports Manto and her policies wholeheartedly, because they are his. It will take a lot more international pressure to force his hand, because he will not act unless it is his own reputation on the line. As long as she’s the one taking the heat, he can get his bizarre AIDS views out there without looking like the dissident he is.