President Obama will skip the International AIDS Conference this week so that he can campaign and raise money to fund his reelection effort, Bloomberg reports.
The AIDS conference is being held in the U.S. for the first time in 22 years and will be attended by high profile politicos such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, among others.
Obama also has proposed to cut funding for AIDS relief in his 2013 budget, Bloomberg noted.
AIDS activists were not pleased with the president’s decision, the report notes:
With the conference being held in the U.S. for the first time in 22 years, President Barack Obama is out of town campaigning and raising money for his re-election. His only presence is a 50-second cameo in a three-minute video welcoming delegates. Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s only appearance is in a video message to a meeting on the sidelines of the conference on the role of the faith community.
“It’s a huge missed opportunity,” said Matthew Kavanagh, head of policy for Health GAP, an advocacy organization on AIDS. “The people who are touched by HIV in this country and who care about HIV are potential core constituents for the president.”