Trump admin fires HIV/AIDS council

The Trump administration fired the remaining 16 members of the top White House advisory board on HIV and AIDS-related issues it was reported on Thursday. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are seen in the Oval Office on December

US President Donald Trump controversially fired his entire Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) this week, it's been revealed.

Six members of the council resigned in June due to "a president who simply does not care", according to one member in a Newsweek op-ed entitled "Trump doesn't care about HIV".

The terminations were effective immediately, the paper reported, citing epidemiologist Patrick Sullivan. "The Obama administration dismissed the George W. Bush administration appointees to PACHA in order to bring in new voices".

It is not uncommon for administrations to purge government agencies of holdovers from the previous presidency so that it can hire its own personnel. After Barack Obama entered office his White House dismissed all PACHA’s members appointed during Georg

At the time of this post, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) has not been staffed - and hasn't been since the Trump Administration began in January of 2017.

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".

"Changing the makeup of federal advisory committee members is a common occurrence during administration changes", Hayes said in the statement.

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Sullivan, who's a professor at Emory University specializing in HIV research, did not explicitly criticize the administration's decision to fire him and his fellow panel members, adding that there are plenty of scientists who can fill his position as long as US policy sticks to "well-established" and science-based research.

"Like any administration, they want their own people there", Maldonado, an Obama appointee, told the Blade.

Reports came out that Trump, behind closed doors and complaining about immigration statistics, was allegedly upset that tens of thousands of Haitians came to the US each year, telling advisers the immigrants from that nation "all have AIDS". He also noted that some people on the board were sworn back in as members earlier this year when their initial terms expired. The President has also proposed massive budget cuts to HIV/AIDS programmes, including a $150m reduction in funding for such programmes at the Centers for Disease Control.

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"The timing is a little bit unorthodox compared to what the Obama administration's approach was", Maldonado said.

"I just am coming to the acknowledgment that the traditional tactics of politicking and policy and strategy and negotiation, the kind of standard tools that we're trying to use, that the status quo is no longer acceptable", Maldonado said. "Trump has made a continuous effort to erase LGBTQ people and people living with HIV from the fabric of our country".

The decision by an administrator to clear house at PACHA is not unprecedented.

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

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