C.J. is giving another briefing about audits and the Senate Finance Committee, and I plunge into a coma. She fades out as we pan over to Ainsley, lurking in the doorway, looking on with rapture. She steps into the room, and Bill spots her from his "new guy" position at the back of the room. He asks if she's new, explaining that it's his fourth day there, and Ainsley says that she isn't. Bill says, "Maybe you can help me, then. I'm trying to get somewhere with drilling equipment that might have been sold by Bonamo Energy to the Iraqis, in violation of sanctions. I asked C.J. about it, and she said there's a grand jury investigation, and she's not allowed to talk." Ainsley asks, "She told you there was a grand jury investigation?" Bill says yes, and then Margaret pops in to drag Ainsley away. These "Ainsley wanders the White House" bits would have been much easier to deal with if we'd seen Leo say, "While you think about my offer, why don't you look around, talk to the people you'd be working with, get a feel for the place." That'd be fairly plausible, and it would have taken five seconds. Maybe then there wouldn't have been time for all the "Paranoid Sam" bits. I could live with that. As we fade out, C.J. tells the press, "All parties are optimistic," about the AIDS conference.
It's Friday. Alan is telling everyone that "we still haven't talked about the fundamental misunderstanding in Africa over the basic facts of AIDS." Nimbala disagrees. Alan says, "A week ago you people stood up and said that AIDS has only a casual relationship to HIV." Through his interpreter, Nimbala says, "I'm not sure to whom you are referring when you say, 'you people,' but it was President Mbeki of South Africa who said that, and not anyone in this room." Alan responds, "If tomorrow we made AIDS medication free to every patient in your country, as much as they needed for as long as they needed it, it would likely make very little difference in the spread of the epidemic." Josh asks, "Why?" Well, because treating people who are already infected isn't going to keep other people from contracting the disease. Those are two different problems. Based on what follows, I think Alan meant to say that offering free medication would make little difference in the mortality rate. Let's assume that's what he said, and then Josh asked, "Why?" because otherwise this conversation makes no sense. Play along. So, Spokesman #2 answers, "The HIV drugs are a triple cocktail. It's a complicated regimen that requires ten pills to be taken every day at precise times. Two protease inhibitors every eight hours, two combination RTI pills every twelve hours." Josh still doesn't get it, and no one wants to explain further. Toby finally steps up and explains, "They don't own wristwatches. They can't tell time." Alan says, "We agree that something must be done. But we don't think we're culprits, and we don't think there is an easy or obvious solution. And we think you should be aware of the dangers involved in some of the proposals made here today." What proposals? What dangers? Does anyone else get the feeling that large portions of this episode were cut for time? Toby sighs, and asks if they can speak to Nimbala privately.