Michael Jackson pays visit to Capitol for AIDS cause

April 01, 2004|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON - Hallways were packed. Security was tight. Finally, the elevator doors opened, and there he was. Michael Jackson was in the House.

As in, the House of Representatives.

Jackson was there to join a few members of Congress and officials from a dozen African nations to call attention to the ravages of AIDS in their countries. They met for more than an hour, and afterward, at a news conference outside her office, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, who served as host, held his hand and thanked him.

She said, "Mr. Jackson's voice will be able to be utilized in this campaign of awareness."

At some point, maybe. Not yesterday. Jackson did not utter a word in public.

Wearing a red satin shirt with swirly brocade, he waved to fans, flashed a "V" sign and signed a few autographs.

His thoughts on AIDS were conveyed only through a written statement that said, in part: "I make a personal commitment to work with you in whatever way that I can to make life better for those who are in need."

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