Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Trump fires members of HIV/AIDS council without explanation

President Donald Trump appears on Friday Dec. 29 2017 answering questions in Washington DC Trump Fires HIV/AIDS Council In Its Entirety By FedEx Letter, Report Claims
Isabel Fisher | 30 December, 2017, 03:36

The administration of US President Donald Trump has dismissed the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), according to US media reports. No explanation was given by the president regarding their terminations, although some expect the firings are politically motivated.

Schoettes tweeted Thursday that the remaining council members had been fired.

"It is a risky thing when the administration is eliminating people whose views are based in science and community experience", HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal in an interview with GPB. "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. Medications have advanced since then, making HIV a much more manageable diagnosis for many Americans. This follows six of the council members resigning from their positions in June, citing Trump's regressive legislation and inaction on the global HIV/AIDS crisis as the reasons in an open letter to Newsweek.

"As far as I know it came as a surprise, it was very abrupt, and each remaining member simply received an email saying that their service was no longer needed effective immediately", he said. Fangerous that #Trump and Co. "(Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed".

The administration gave no reason for the firing.

He also mentioned different priorities between the current administration and former council members.


But Maldonado said the termination of PACHA members during the Trump administration is only partially consistent with the Obama years.

But it's also not unusual for an administration to clear out the previous administration's appointees like this. "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".

Trump's proposed budget, for example, which significantly cut funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and education measures, could lead to millions of deaths according to a report from the ONE Campaign.

Maldonado said he represented a younger demographic on PACHA as the only member under the age of 30, which he said is where the majority of new HIV infections are occurring, and as a young, black gay man. "It is of great importance for people living with HIV like myself".

Ben Plumley, Chief Executive Officer of Pangaea, an global HIV organization that works with funders and national governments to help at-risk populations, has said that if the US lets HIV go unchecked at home and overseas, it will destabilize each country's national security.

Since the resignations in June, Trump has made public statements on HIV/AIDS consisting of proclamations on National HIV Testing Day and World AIDS Day.

The decision by an administrator to clear house at PACHA is not unprecedented.

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