BETHESDA, Md. — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday announced that talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has been named as a Special U.S. Envoy for Global AIDS Awareness.
Clinton made the announcement during a major policy speech to the National Institutes of Health on HIV-AIDS issues, and in letter to DeGeneres, Clinton wrote:
“By lending us your energy, compassion, and star power to serve as our Special Envoy for Global AIDS Awareness, your words will encourage Americans in joining you to make their voices heard in our campaign to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
The enormous platform of your television show and your social media channels will enable you to reach millions of people with the strong and hopeful message that we can win this fight.”
U. S. Ambassador Eric Goosby, the United States Global AIDS Coordinator, who leads all U.S. Government international HIV/AIDS efforts noted that, “at this historic moment in our global fight against AIDS, we are thrilled that we have someone like Ellen DeGeneres on our team to raise awareness that we are on the path to beating this devastating disease.”
“We at PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) look forward to working with her to deliver a positive and hopeful message that we can work together to put an end to AIDS.”
In response, the comedian and talk show host said Tuesday:
“I’m honored to have been chosen by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as Special Envoy for Global AIDS awareness. The fight against AIDS is something that has always been close to my heart.”
“And I’m happy that I can use my platform to educate people and spread hope. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go look up what “envoy” means,” DeGeneres said.
As a special envoy, DeGeneres will be able to utilize her celebrity status to raise awareness about the global fight against AIDS.
According to Warner Studios in Burbank who produces her daily talk show, DeGeneres reaches millions of people every day, including 8 million followers on Twitter and 5.8 million Facebook fans.
A spokesperson for the “Ellen” show told LGBTQ Nation that the Emmy award-winning entertainer is heavily involved in several humanitarian causes including prevention of bullying, animal rescue and rehabilitation, as well as raising breast cancer awareness.
DeGeneres has previously worked with the advocacy organization ONE to raise awareness about the fight against AIDS.