Published: Sat, December 30, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Trump administration fires all members of HIV/AIDS advisory council

Trump administration fires all members of HIV/AIDS advisory council

"The current members of Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) received a letter informing them that the Administration was terminating their appointments", Kaye Hayes, the council's executive director, said. The letters reportedly provided no explanation for the members' firing.

"I can only speculate", Maldonado told the Blade. "The Obama administration dismissed the George W. Bush administration appointees to PACHA in order to bring in new voices".

Cecilia Chung, an Obama-era appointee who left voluntarily after her term expired earlier this year, echoed these concerns.

The Office of National AIDS Policy, established in 1993 during the Clinton administration, has not had a director since President Donald Trump took office.

Scott Schoettes, a Chicago-based HIV/AIDS activist and senior attorney for Lambda Legal, was one of the six who resigned in June over Trump's inaction on HIV/AIDS and said on Twitter the remaining members were fired. "No respect for their service", Schoettes tweeted. 'Dangerous that #Trump and Co.

"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", he wrote.

Schoettes went on to say that Trump was "executing a purge" by many of his actions, including those unrelated to HIV.

The firing of the remaining board members provides further evidence that the Trump administration isn't interested in the issue.

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It should be noted that, during the Obama administration, nearly all of George W. Bush's appointees were terminated prior to new appointees being named. "And a lot of those key vulnerable populations are not being prioritized in this administration".

In September, Trump signed an executive order that renewed PACHA along with 31 other presidential bodies for an additional year. Several members were re-sworn in earlier this year. "I think where the discrepancy comes in is why a year later, number 1?"

"All PACHA members are eligible to apply to serve on the new council that will be convened in 2018".

"We certainly have been vocal that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would worsen health and increase new HIV infections", Sullivan said.

The Trump administration has been publicly supportive of efforts to combat the HIV and AIDS epidemic, releasing public statements on National HIV Testing Day and on World AIDS Day.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request to comment Thursday evening on the terminations.

It's not clear when new appointments might be made. Read the full Washington Blade article, here.

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