Trump Fires Entire Council on HIV/AIDS With No Explanation

Trump Fires Entire Council on HIV/AIDS With No Explanation

Six months after multiple members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned, President Donald Trump's administration has reportedly fired the remaining 16 members through a FedEx letter.

"As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care", former PACHA member Scott Schoettes wrote in an op-ed for Newsweek.

Scott Schoettes, HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, wrote in Newsweek why he and five of his colleagues made a decision to leave the PACHA. 'Dangerous that #Trump and Co.

He later confirmed to The Independent that all of the remaining advisers had been let go, citing three members who had received termination letters from the administration.

Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of the Riverside, Calif.,-based LGBT and HIV/AIDS group Truevolution, said he had no clue why there were given the boot. "I can only speculate", Maldonado told the Blade, "like any administration, they want their own people there". "Like any administration, they want their own people there. 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". "I was an Obama appointee and my term was continuing until 2018", he said.

The firings were not unusual. "I think this is a President and an administration that doesn't value dialogue and dissenting views".

It is important to state that PACHA technically still holds its charter - it just has no counsel members.

However, HIV/AIDS activists have been deeply critical of the White House's approach over the past year.

The PACHA was created in 1995 during the Clinton administration to provide recommendations about the government's response to the HIV epidemic.

At the time of this post, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) has not been staffed - and hasn't been since the Trump Administration began in January of 2017.

Trump renewed PACHA with an executive order in September of 2017, but-Johnson notes-his "fiscal year 2018 budget proposal also sought massive cuts to HIV/AIDS programs, including $150 million on HIV/AIDS programs at the Centers of Disease Control and more than $1 billion in cuts from global programs like PEPFAR Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria".



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