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Isaiah Washington Attends Summit on Malaria, Meets President Bush

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Isaiah Washington may play a doctor on TV, but in real life, he's building his cred as a political activist, mingling with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush this week in Washington, D.C.

Isaiah Washington Attends Summit on Malaria, Meets President Bush The Grey's Anatomy star met Bush for the first time on Thursday while emceeing the White House Summit on Malaria.

Washington called the President "genuine" and tells People the First Lady was "very warm... (the summit) is her baby."

The half-day event, organized by Laura Bush, brought together leaders bent on eliminating malaria, a curable and preventable disease that kills 1 million people a year, many of them African children. Last year, the U.S. launched a five-year, $1.2 billion plan aimed at cutting malaria deaths in half .

Laura Bush's own staff pooled the $600 they would have spent on holiday gifts for each other - using it instead to buy 50 bed nets to protect people from mosquitoes carrying the disease.

"It goes to show you that the passion and compassion (for eradicating malaria) is indeed working," Washington said.

Isaiah Washington has taken a great interest in the plight of Africa, and is in the process of filming a documentary about the continent, centering around his tribal homeland of Sierra Leone.

For Washington, the brief break from the Grey's Anatomy set wasn't all work and no play. Before jetting back to L.A., he went to Vice President Dick Cheney's holiday party.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Isaiah, I am a HUGE fan and am happy to hear of the good work outside of the entertainment industry. You are a brilliant actor, and GA just would NOT be the same without you and your character, Dr. Preston Burke. I would like to see others just drop the issue concerning your comments!!! God bless!

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Very proud of Isaiah for helping another cause in Africa. It's very sad that so many are dying over something so preventative and curable.