22 February 2017

U2's Bono Warms Up To Mike Pence

Bono and Mike Pence
Pop star Bono and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence had a brief meeting last 18 February at the Munich Security Conference, with the U2 singer thanking Pence for his past support of AIDS relief in Africa. This could also be a start of Bono and the team of President Donald Trump working closely together to "twice pass Africa AIDS assistance & future security in developing nations."

During their encounter, which came after Pence spoke at the conference, Bono acknowledged that Pence, while an Indiana congressman, helped get the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) passed in 2003 and then renewed in 2008.

"Twice on the House floor you defended that. That's how we know you, and we really appreciate that," Bono told Pence, who responded to Bono, "It was an extraordinary historic accomplishment and you played a leading role in carrying it forward."

Bono also jokingly called Pence, "The second busiest man in America."

In December 2015, former president George W. Bush, who signed PEPFAR into law, praised Bono's efforts in helping establish the relief program that helped improve Africa's medical facilities.

Following their meeting, Pence tweeted, "Enjoyed chatting w/ Bono at @MunSecConf. Discussed prior effort to twice pass Africa AIDS assistance & future security in developing nations."

On 17 February, Bono delivered a speech at the Munich Security Conference where he argued that the development of three things in third-world countries – education, employment and empowerment – could help prevent extremism.

"I don't see a body of water wide enough, or a wall high enough, to keep these problems from our doors," Bono warned.