|Donald Trump (screen capture)|
President Trump made some surprising announcements at his Thursday night campaign rally in Ohio, promising to put astronauts on Mars, end the AIDS epidemic and cure childhood cancer “very shortly.”
“We will come up with the cures to many, many problems to many, many diseases including cancer, and others, and we’re getting closer all the time,” Trump told rally attendees. “We will eradicate AIDS in America, and we’re very close. We will lay the foundation for landing American astronauts on the surface of Mars.”
“The things we’re doing in our country today, there’s never been anything like it,” the Donald continued. “We will be ending the AIDS epidemic shortly in America, and curing childhood cancer very shortly.”
Trump promises to end the #AIDS epidemic ‘shortly’ and cure childhood #cancer. pic.twitter.com/urkeLIr9Ab
— The Randy Report (@randyslovacek) August 2, 2019
Now, these are certainly worthy goals. But for a president who seems to doubt science more than embrace it, the path to achieving these goals isn’t entirely clear.
After all, this is the man who declared the noise from wind turbines “causes cancer.”
Let’s take a look at the issue of HIV/AIDS.
In his 2019 State of the Union address, Trump announced he would end all HIV transmission in the U.S. by 2030. The president didn’t elaborate on how he would achieve that goal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are over 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, including 38,700 new infections in 2016.
While appreciating good intentions, it’s worth noting what Trump has actually done regarding the fight against HIV/AIDS since taking office.
• He proposed cutting funds to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
• His administration suggested moving $5.7 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program to address immigration at the U.S. southern border.
• The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) was dormant for over a yearafter former members quit or were fired in January 2018.
• Trump has also ordered HIV+ soldiers to be discharged under his “Deploy or Get Out” policy announced in 2018.
In light of the above, you’ll pardon me for being a teensy bit skeptical about his new ‘promises.’