Members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) were surprised to receive an envelope from FedEx yesterday.
"My Administration will continue to invest in testing initiatives to help people who are unaware they are living with HIV learn their status", said President Trump in a World AIDS Day proclamation. "Two, many of us, our terms were over earlier this year and we were sworn back in, and three were stayed on almost four months after an executive order was signed continuing the council", he said.
Cecilia Chung, an Obama-era appointee who left voluntarily after her term expired earlier this year, echoed these concerns.
Almost a year into Trump's presidency, the White House has yet to appoint a director of the Office of National AIDS Policy. Medications have advanced since then, making HIV a much more manageable diagnosis for many Americans.
'No respect for their service, ' he wrote. Fangerous 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. 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 USA each year, telling advisers the immigrants from that nation "all have AIDS". This Trump HIV Council firing has continued to raise serious concerns about the president's interest in seriously addressing HIV domestically and overseas. "One of our recommendations was to endorse the national HIV/AIDS strategy, which was developed by the Obama administration ... but reflected the work of a very diverse group of people".
However, HIV/AIDS activists have been deeply critical of the White House's approach over the past year.
Maldonado said "ideological and philosophical differences" with the administration are a potential reason for the terminations.
Jim Driscoll, a Trump supporter who served on the council under President George W. Bush, defended the firings by saying they're "standard practice" for a new administration. In the 2018 fiscal year budget Trump has sought huge cuts to programs including $150 million on HIV/AIDS at the Centers of Disease Control. "To lose this body's expertise and counsel at the White House on HIV issues threatens to unravel years of progress and our collective efforts to end HIV within our lifetimes".
Nominations for membership to the Presidential Advisory Council must be received by January 2, according to the Federal Register, but it is unclear when new appointments will be made.
Experts and now-former members of the council expect new representatives appointed by Trump/Pence to focus on failed abstinence-only programs while ignoring the communities most affected by the virus - people of color and LGBT people.
Erica Garner declared brain dead with no chance of recovery
An out-of-court settlement in which the city agreed to pay the Garner family $5.9 million was announced in 2015. Pantaleo was not charged with any crime and remains employed with the NYPD. "Physically she is still with us".