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Gayle Smith, ONE Campaign CEO, warns against complacency in AIDS, Ebola fights

ONE Campaign CEO: "World is not paying attention" to AIDS fight
Gayle Smith: AIDS fight is winnable, but "world is not paying attention" 05:53

A new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and an ongoing AIDS crisis in Africa are among the top priorities for The ONE Campaign, an anti-poverty group led by CEO and President Gayle Smith.

The new Ebola outbreak has killed over 300 people and could spread beyond the DRC, Smith told "Face the Nation" Sunday. 

"I'm quite concerned that it hasn't risen to a higher level of attention on the world's agenda because as we know these viruses don't pay attention to borders, and they move very quickly [and] could kill a whole lot more people," she said. 

The ONE Campaign was founded by Bono, the lead singer of U2. Smith served as the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from November 2015 to January 2018 and served as a top adviser to both former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. 

On the subject of HIV/AIDS, Smith said she worries the global community is growing complacent, even as 1,000 girls and young women are infected every day in Africa.

"As long as we're moving faster than the virus, we can win the fight against AIDS, but if it starts moving faster than we are, we're in real trouble," she said. "The world is not paying attention."

She lamented proposed budget cuts to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, the U.S. program launched by President George W. Bush to fight AIDS, primarily in Africa. 

"We can't afford to get behind or the virus will win," she said.

Over the last 15 years, Democrats and Republicans have joined together to support massive HIV/AIDS spending and maintaining a robust foreign aid budget, she said: "We've just got a history now of Democrats and Republicans joining together over the last two years, for example, to push back against and restore cuts in the aid budget."

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