President Donald Trump’s White House ends 2017 with a move that inspired more outrageous outrage from social justice warriors across the nation.
His team fired all of the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS without an explanation.
Months after a half-dozen members resigned in protest of the Trump administration’s position on health policies, the White House dismissed the rest through a form letter.
The notice “thanked me for my past service and said that my appointment was terminated, effective immediately,” said Patrick Sullivan, an epidemiologist at Emory University who works on HIV testing programs. He was appointed to a four-year term in May 2016.
The council, known by the acronym PACHA, has advised the White House on HIV/AIDS policies since its founding in 1995. Members, who are not paid, offer recommendations on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, a five-year plan responding to the epidemic.
Actually, there are several, extremely rational explanations for this move. For example, it is often the case that an administration replaces council members with its own picks.
…Changing the makeup of federal advisory committee members is a common occurrence during administration changes. The Obama administration dismissed the George W. Bush administration appointees to PACHA in order to bring in new voices. All PACHA members are eligible to apply to serve on the new council that will be convened in 2018. Information on how to apply to serve on PACHA is available here.”
Gabriel Maldonado, founder and CEO of TruEvolution, an HIV/AIDS and LGBT advocacy organization based in California who was appointed to the council by the Obama administration in 2015, told CBS News that the dismissal was not unusual.
Furthermore, the cases of HIV have been rapidly declining in this country and new treatments have become readily available. In line with Trump’s inclinations to rework policies to meet today’s needs, his team may have decided that instead it expending time and manpower on this council, perhaps the time has come to dealing with other infectious diseases (e.g., Hepatitis A).
However, it is important to note that six of PACHA’s members resigned in June, in a move that seemingly basked in the glory being the #Resistance.
…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.
[Scott] Schoettes 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.”
They went on to write that the current state of the advisory board, which is also known as PACHA, was “concerning”.
“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.”
Perhaps this move inspired Trump’s team to clear the deck entirely? If so, it would be a savory unintended consequence.
A quick glace at social media shows that this development is being met with the usual level of thoughtful analysis by big government believers.
Trump began the month by erasing LGBTQ people from his World AIDS Day statement, and ends it by firing all remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS without warning https://t.co/CHhwORaNRv
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) December 29, 2017
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. #WeObject #PACHA6 #Resist
— Scott A. Schoettes (@PozAdvocate) December 28, 2017
It seems that the FedEx firing was a wonderful, Trumpian touch.
Trump fired every single member of his HIV/AIDS council without telling them why. Not only that, he did it in a letter sent via FedEx. He didn’t even pick up the phone & call them. Laziest & most cruel president in the history of the United States-and obviously a complete coward.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) December 29, 2017
And, perhaps, my favorite Tweet on this subject:
This comes after Trump proposed a $800 million dollar budget cut to HIV/AIDS treatment and research. This man is a monster.
— ACT UP New York (@actupny) December 29, 2017
ANALYSIS = TRUE: If by “monster” you mean that Trump is a regulation-slashing Godzilla.DONATE
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