News Brief: President Trump Fires the Entire Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief President Trump Fires Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

News Brief President Trump Fires Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

News Brief:  President Trump Fires the Entire Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

President Trump has dismissed the entire Presidential advisory council on HIV/AIDS.

The Republican leader has been harshly criticized over his handling of HIV/AIDS issues, with activists warning that his proposed cuts to healthcare, HIV prevention, and international aid threaten to spark a new epidemic.  But the politician has decided to dismiss the entirety of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS this past week.  The move comes after the quiet closure of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, which was shuttered as part of the Presidential transition and never re-opened as Trump failed to appoint a new director.

According to Newsweek, all members of the council were informed of their dismissal by a letter sent via courier.

Chicago-based HIV activist Scott A Schoettes, a former member of the council, laid into the decision, he tweeted, “Remaining #HIV/AIDS council members booted by @realDonaldTrump. No respect for their service. Dangerous that #Trump and Co. (Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed.”

Several members of the advisory council had already resigned in protest of Trump-era rollbacks on HIV/AIDS earlier this year.  In a joint resignation letter, the group wrote that they had dedicated their lives to fighting HIV and AIDS, but felt that the Trump administration was preventing them from doing this successfully.

They wrote, “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.  The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and – most concerning – pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease.”

The group concluded the letter by saying that the resignation was not an easy decision, but one that must be made.

“The decision to resign from government service is not one that any of us take lightly. However, we cannot ignore the many signs that the Trump Administration does not take the on-going epidemic or the needs of people living with HIV seriously.”