Donald Trump Fires Entire HIV/AIDS Advisory Council

Donald Trump Fires Entire HIV/AIDS Advisory Council

Back in June of this year, six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned over Donald Trump’s inaction on the issue of HIV/AIDS.

In part, the resignations were based on Trump’s failure to appoint a chief to oversee White House policy on HIV/AIDS. Additionally, council members were appalled at policies and budget cuts to programs that address HIV/AIDS.

According to Newsweek, the Trump administration has now fired the remaining 16 PACHA members without any explanation.

Scott A. Schoettes, a Chicago-based HIV/AIDS activist and one of the members of the advisory panel who resigned over the summer, tweeted yesterday that the remaining council members had been fired for calling President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “dangerous.”

“Remaining #HIV/AIDS council members booted by @realDonaldTrump. No respect for their service,” Schoettes wrote on the social media site. “Dangerous that #Trump and Co. (Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed,” he added.

Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of the LGBT and HIV/AIDS group Truevolution and a remaining member of PACHA said the reasons for the firings remain unclear but may have been borne of a desire by the Trump administration to clear out appointments made by his predecessor Barack Obama.

“I can only speculate,” Maldonado said. “Like any administration, they want their own people there. Many of us were Obama appointees. I was an Obama appointee and my term was continuing until 2018.”

You’ll recall Trump told campaign rally attendees that he would be “better for the gays than Hillary Clinton.” #MyAss

If you want to really understand Trump’s opinion of LGBTs, remember this move comes less than a week after it was revealed that Trump reportedly asserted “they all have AIDS” in reference to 15,000 Haitians who were granted visas to enter the U.S. in the first half of 2017.