Trump fires all members of HIV/AIDS council without explanation

30 December, 2017, 03:38 | Author: Samuel Hayes
  • Trump Fires HIV/AIDS Council In Its Entirety By FedEx Letter, Report Claims

President Donald Trump has fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, the Washington Blade reported Thursday night.

Six members of the council quit back in June.

One source with knowledge of PACHA said many council members were terminated even though additional time remained on their terms as advisers.

PACHA was founded during the Clinton administration amid the AIDS" crisis peak in the "90s-over 500,000 AIDS cases were reported in 1995 alone-and was created to help presidents manage policy and research on HIV and AIDS.

Without explanation, the White House earlier this week fired all remaining members of President Trump's advisory panel on HIV and AIDS, drawing widespread outrage from gay rights activists.

She also defended Mr Trump's decision to dismiss the members, saying alterations of a federal advisory committee are "a common occurrence during administration changes".

Ulysses Burley, a former Pacha member who left with Mr Schoettes in June, told The Independent that he had heard from other, Obama-era appointees who were suddenly dismissed this week.

Mr Maldonado said the members, many of whom were Obama-era appointees, were given no reason for their dismissal.

PACHA members have had problems with the way Trump runs the council since he took office.

Trump Fires HIV/AIDS Council In Its Entirety By FedEx Letter, Report Claims

Many have noted Trump's predicliction for undoing Obama's policies.

"Like any administration, they want their own people there", Maldonado told the Washington Blade.

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.

"The timing is a little bit unorthodox compared to what the Obama administration's approach was", Maldonado said. "There is no way for us to know where on the agenda HIV policy is, and that is the concerning part".

Impulse Group DC, a social and entertainment-based HIV awareness and advocacy group with particular focus on outreach to queer communities of color, sent out a press release heavily criticizing Trump's previous proposals to cut federal HIV programs, including the president's call to eliminate the Minority AIDS Initiative. Neither statement includes a explicit mention of LGBT people, who are considered to have face the brunt of the disease.

The White House did not immediately respond for comment.

She did not address when the administration might begin to make new appointments to the council, which can number up to 25 members.

The across-the-board axing was announced in a letter delivered via FedEx to all 16 members and comes as the Trump administration already faces flak for how it deals with LGBTQ issues.

More news: Erica Garner, Activist Daughter of Chokehold Victim, Brain Dead

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