Trump Just Fired His Entire HIV/AIDS Council by FedEx Letter


Donald Trump has fired the remaining members of his Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), informing them without explanation in a letter delivered by Federal Express reports AOL.

In June, six members resigned from PACHA writing in an open letter, published in Newsweek, saying the Trump White House was pushing for legislation that would harm people living with HIV.

Scott A. Schoettes, a Chicago-based HIV/AIDS activist and one of the members of the advisory panel who resigned over the summer, tweeted:

HIV/AIDS activists have been deeply critical of the White House’s approach over the past year. In the 2018 fiscal year budget, Trump sought huge cuts to programs—including $150 million on HIV/AIDS at the Centers of Disease Control. The administration has also sought more than than $1 billion in cuts from global programs like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Just under a year into his first term, Trump has yet to appoint an HIV/AIDS chief, the first time since Bill Clinton created the position in 1993 that a president has failed to do so.

Sources close to the decision explained they suspect the charter for PACHA will be re-written with renewed focus on abstinence and religious, non-evidence-based public health approaches.

Impulse Group DC, a Washington-based HIV awareness and advocacy group, told Newsweek via email that to lose the expertise of the existing council threatens to unravel years of progress and efforts to end HIV.

Devin Barrington-Ward, president of Impulse, said:

Now is not the time for complacency. Every organization serving people living with HIV and fighting to end this epidemic must galvanize their networks of clients, staff, and volunteers to resist and fight back against these dangerous HIV policy decisions.