Trump 'fires every member of his Aids council'

30 December, 2017, 02:10 | Author: Colin Gill
  • President Donald Trump. Alex Wong  Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Wednesday reportedly fired all remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) via a letter delivered by FedEx.

Gabriel Maldonado, one of the members fired this week, told the Blade he didn't know the reason for the firings, but said they could be due to "ideological and philosophical differences" with the administration. "Now they need to find bona fide community people with appropriate expertise and the ability to adapt to the changed political circumstances", he told the Blade. "Two, many of us, our terms were over earlier this year and we were sworn back in, and three were stayed on almost four months after an executive order was signed continuing the council".

Cecilia Chung, an Obama-era appointee who left voluntarily after her term expired earlier this year, echoed these concerns.

The Trump administration still hasn't appointed a director to the Office of National AIDS Policy. 'Dangerous that #Trump and Co.

Schoettes went on to say that Trump was "executing a purge" by many of his actions, including those unrelated to HIV.

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It should be noted that, during the Obama administration, nearly all of George W. Bush's appointees were terminated prior to new appointees being named.

Schoettes tweeted Thursday that the remaining council members had been fired. Over 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, with the most vulnerable populations being gay and bisexual men, particularly African American gay and bisexual men, according to HHS. But it's more typical for members to serve staggered terms and rotate off gradually, he said.

Trump's 2017 World AIDS Day proclamation didn't even mention LGBTQ people (although neither did the proclamations of some previous presidents). "I think where the discrepancy comes in is why a year later, number one?" Its most recent meeting took place in August, Sullivan said, and by November, an archived version of PACHA's website shows the group was down to 10 members and two staff. The President has also proposed massive budget cuts to HIV/AIDS programmes, including a $150m reduction in funding for such programmes at the Centers for Disease Control.

"I just am coming to the acknowledgment that the traditional tactics of politicking and policy and strategy and negotiation, the kind of standard tools that we're trying to use, that the status quo is no longer acceptable", Maldonado said. Several who sat on the committee resigned in June of this year, citing inaction and apathy on the part of the administration regarding issues related to HIV/AIDS.

A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on the dismissals or the resignations earlier this year.

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