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Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Bono takes on the world's toughest issues
Watch online-only, uncut interview with U2's Bono
I spent part of this morning with Bono. Well, not really. He is in Berlin, Germany, and I am in Atlanta, Georgia, but we chatted for about 20 minutes about everything going on in his world. (Watch uncut exclusive interview)

Most of his attention is now focused not so much on fronting U2, but rather fronting another organization he started called DATA -- Debt, Aids, Trade and Africa. In some ways, it is a watchdog organization to hold leaders of the G8, the world's leading industrialized nations, accountable for the promises regarding Africa.

As Bono told me, it really is a case of good news and bad news. Here are a couple of examples. In 2002, only 1 percent of the people in sub-Saharan Africa who needed lifesaving AIDS medications received them; today the number is closer 28 percent. Also, for the first time, debt relief and cancellation are starting to occur and as a result more money and resources can be dedicated to the very poor. Bono likes to focus on the good stories because they remind us that some of these problems are fixable and also in the vital interest of our nation.

To be fair, the United States is doing more than ever before. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which is supposed to be $15 billion over five years, is the largest commitment, if the dollars all come through. There have also been private endeavors including the Red campaign, which raises money through the sale of red merchandise and which Bono says has produced $25 million in the last quarter for the Global Fund. It is directly helping organizations buy more pills for the sick.

During the interview, Bono was very candid. He said it was hard to fly around on private jets to attend lavish parties and also watch someone die for lack of two pills. He reminded us that "we don't have to ask God for a blessing, but rather just go where the poor and misfortunate are, because God is already there."

I also asked him about Bono fatigue. "I am Bono," he replied "and I'm sick of Bono." Truth is, though, a lot of people aren't. They listen to him because he is passionate, because he has the ear of presidential candidates and prime ministers and well, because he is a rock star. Does Bono's message resonate with you and does he make a difference?

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Please include your name, city and state when responding to blog postings.
Hey Dr. Gupta~
I don't know about you. I think you work too much. Did you say 80 hours a week? Is that healthy?
I am not big into "celebrity" but I think it is wonderful that anyone famous would use their influence to draw attention to world problems and human suffering. Yeah Bono!
The organization DATA sounds awesome. There is a lot of work to do in Africa and around the world. I am always leaning in to hear what how I might be able to help.
Thanks for the blog. In a cold, harsh world, it is stories like this that keeps us warm.~
I like Bono's approach to focus on the positive. Much to often, we're overwhelmed with news about how horrible everything is (and it is in many places) but it often leaves the thought; what's the use. The interview was very inspiring. Thanks.

- Christian Goodman
http://ChristianGoodman.com
While the world owes it to Bono for using his star power to help the poor, it should not forget that there are many ordinary "Bonos" and "Angelina Jolies" out there who have dedicated their lives to the cause. People who quietly go about their business, heads down, and want nothing in return but for the world to listen and consistently reach out.
Bono has made a difference in millions of lives not only in Africa, but mine as well. I am a mother of six in California and he has moved me, shaken me to the core by reminding me that it is my responsibility as a human being to care.

All and any extra time I have is dedicated to helping children get school supplies in South Africa, trying to raise funds for a clean water project in Guatemala, and planning a three week journey to Kenya to work in an orphanage this fall.

I have two heroes in my life. One is Bono. He inspires me to do more. He inspires me to be better. He inspires me to care.

And I am a better person for it.

If I could, I would just like to thank him for shaking and helping me take the steps forward to make this world a better place. If I can change the life of one child, of one family, of one village, I have lived a life worth living.

And yes, I thank Bono for that.
Good Morning! Dr Gupta ~
Just got a copy of your interview from my nephew Jamie who introduced me to Bono years ago. My answer is YES, Bono's message resonates with me. His vision, his passion, his commitment are inspirational. What I admire most is his capacity to work across all lines, all parties and with all kinds of people. His head, his hands AND his heart reach out. My hope is that more leaders will follow his lead; as for me I'll keep trying. With appreciation, Merryl Richards, Livingston, NJ
BONO YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF HOW POWER, FAME AND INFLUENCE CAN BE USED TO SERVE HUMANS BEST INTEREST. VERY NOBLE JOB, SIR BONO. IN ADDITION TO YOUR HUMANITARIAN AID, YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC IS ENORMOUS.
MAURICIO ROJAS - CALI, COLOMBIA
Greetings,

You ask "Does Bono's message resonate with you and does he make a difference"?

The answer is YES and YES, my son who is now 15 has his friends wearing the ONE BANDs that we purchased. But my point is, Bono is now reaching into the souls of young people at the age of 14 and 15 and they are now aware of some of these issues well before , like most of us when we are much older. It is great to have hero's KNOWN or UNKNOWN, and if you have the Change to use that gift such as BONO and U2 have do IT, weather its a Rock Star,. Activist or the child next door, Use your voice and change just ONE life it can have a ripple effect. IT is possible, Thank you to all the Bono's in the world. Our younger generation needs more Bono's to look up to and see they to can change this world ,

Peace,

armstrong@onemain.com
Bono's message most defiantely resonates with me! I am very passionate about making a difference in the lives of the poor and misfortunate in Africa and around the world! I want to do whatever I can to help him and others in their plight to make this world a better place for ALL to LIVE!
As I contemplate your questions regarding Bono’s message and impact, I’m drawn to another question: Am I doing anything in my own life to alleviate the suffering of the poor? Honestly, I’m not. What have I done to help those suffering in Africa? It is so easy to drown in a pool of bills, deadlines, demands, and meetings; all to the demise of helping those who really need it. I am guilty.

How about you Dr. Gupta, have you been intentional in helping the poor? Did your interview with Bono inspire you to make any personal changes? I’m just curious. Thank you for taking the initiative to do this inspiring interview with Bono. God bless you!
Can anyone out there say, ONE WORLD RELIGION???Has anyone heard of the Church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation in the Bible? Bono's working with Rick Warren of Purpose-Driven to push for world peace. Sounds like a great idea, I agree. Who is against a peaceful world? It's just that the Bible says that it will be anything but peaceful, until Jesus returns. When you couple Bono's socialized plan for government to "help the poor", and Rick Warren's purpose-driven P.E.A.C.E. plan, they are planning to accept all religions as okay as long as you're friends, and that has the making of the false church that John is talking about in Revelation. Check it out for yourself. The Bible is the most fascinating read you'll ever encounter. Check with a Bible-believing Baptist.
Dear Bono, Dear Dr. Gupta

I am following the development of the Band U2 and Bono for the past 21 years now and the band is part of my own development as I grow up. The influence they had on me was driving me forward and made it easier for me in believing in the good. Bono has developed into a passioned rock-star who dedicates himself and his privat life to his dream. I strongly believe that he is a honest and autentic man, fighting for the poor and helpless. I also believe in the idea of project red which i thing is a perfect business model to help event thaught that the best idea will leave a bed tast after it gets successfull, cause it will be hard to keep this business model honest the bigger it gets.
I hope that the Bono does not loos control over his actions since I read more and more articles about his business activities besides all the good. I personally wish him all the best and that he will not fall down or turns out to be someone else, cause i do believe in his honesty so do millions around the world.
Hey there, I'm from Ireland. I'm a songwriter from Dublin and I can deffo say Bono's message resonates with me. He even features in my new video "Fine Lines" Check it out on YouTube or at

myspace.com/paddysharkey

I think that countries like the US are doing alot more than before, but they could still do a little better than they're doing on Africa...Perhaps if there was more Oil there to exploit there'd be more interest from the West!
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