West Wing
In This White House

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In This White House

The Prez is telling Leo that an African leader has suggested that AIDS isn't linked to HIV, it's linked to poverty. Leo says, "He was saying that prostitutes, migrant laborers, the ill educated, and victims of sexual abuse are more likely --" The Prez interrupts to say, "AIDS is caused by HIV. You just named a group of people that have a higher mortality rate across the board." Leo says that the Health Minister was clarifying earlier comments, and the Prez again notes that the Health Minister doesn't believe that HIV causes AIDS. Since at this point neither of them are sure what they're arguing about, the Prez changes the topic: "Did you see Sam get puréed last night on Capital Beat?" Leo smirks that he didn't see it, but he heard about it. The Prez says, "He got diced and sliced by a woman named Ainsley Hayes." Once again, "woman" is needlessly emphasized. This is really bugging me. The Prez says that he's read some of her columns, and says that they should hire her. Leo chuckles, "That'd be funny!" The Prez says he's serious. Leo asks, "You mean, as a joke on Sam?" The Prez says, "I mean we should hire her as a reality." Leo notes that Ainsley is a Republican. The Prez responds, "So are half the people in this country." "Well that half lost," Leo says. The Prez declares that "she's smart, she's not just carping. She feels a sense of something." A sense of something. Talk about credentials. Leo echoes my thoughts by asking, "Of what?" The Prez clarifies: "Of duty! Of civic duty." Heh, the President said, "duty." Leo asks the Prez how many of Ainsley's columns he read, and the Prez answers, "Three," but goes on to declare, "I can sense civic duty a mile away," as they troop into the mural room.

While the Prez and Nimbala strike a pose, with Nimbala's interpreter to one side, C.J. tells the press that they can ask a few questions during the photo op. A reporter (in the script I have no doubt that it says a woman reporter) asks if there's a "political upside" to the fact that Nimbala is there for the photo op, but the drug company representatives aren't. A political upside? To a photo op? Well, there're fewer people cluttering up the photographs. The Prez says he's "trying to shore up the sub-Saharan vote," showing that he, too, thinks it's a dumb question. Another reporter asks if the Prez will ask Congress to forgive the existing debts in Africa. The Prez says, "It's an international health crisis; there's nothing I'm not considering." A third reporter asks Nimbala what the best possible outcome of the conference would be. "A miracle," Nimbala answers. He continues, and his interpreter translates: "There are people who make miracles in the world. One of them lives right here in the U.S. He realized that vital elements could be harvested from the stalk of the wheat. In his hands, India, which at the time had been ravaged by drought and overpopulation -- in his hands, the wheat crop increased from 11 million tons to 60 million tons annually." The Prez, delighted to show off his trivia knowledge, adds, "His name is Norman Borlaug, by the way, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970." He restrains himself from adding, "And I knew that Kirkwood was in California, too!" As the press wanders out, the Prez tells Nimbala, "I think you're absolutely right about the kind of miracle we need. I think we're gonna make a lot of progress in the next few days." Nimbala cuts to the chase: "I hope so, Mr. President. My country's dying."

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West Wing




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