Trump Fires HIV/AIDS Advisory Council With No Explanation

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President Donald Trump has fired the remaining members of the HIV/AIDS council, sending them pink slips in the mail via FedEx.

Patrick Sullivan, a professor and epidemiologist at Emory University, and Oliver Clyde Allen III, an author and pastor at The Vision Church of Atlanta, were both appointed to the council by President Obama. "In the fact of CDC projections that 1 in 2 black gay men and 1 in 13 D.C. residents will become HIV-positive within their lifetimes, it is unconscionable that we would have a President that would not only propose massive cuts to HIV programs but would also remove the entire PACHA membership".

But gay rights advocates say the Trump administration has been discriminatory in a subtle way, leaving out any reference to the LGBTQ community from their statements.

"Many of us considered that a national road map, and thought of endorsing it as an opportunity for leadership".

The panel, which is unpaid and makes recommendations to the White House on strategy for treating and preventing HIV/AIDS, has been around since 1995.

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The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

The group is created to include "doctors, members of industry, members of the community and, very importantly, people living with HIV", said Scott Schoettes, an attorney with the LGBT rights organization Lambda Legal. "Without it, you lose the community voice in policymaking".

Six members of PACHA resigned in June, among them Scott Schoettes, a Chicago-based HIV/AIDS activist and senior attorney for Lambda Legal.

"We tried to stick it out", Schoettes told The Washington Post on Friday.

But the "writing was on the wall", he continued.

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"The tipping point for me was the president's approach to the Affordable Care Act", Schoettes said. It also mentioned the 1.1 million Americans now living with HIV.

But while President Barack Obama had terminated all Bush appointees to the council, this situation is different, said Maldonado, who was appointed by Obama and was to serve into next year.

Last month, HHS posted a call for nominations to the council in the Federal Register with a deadline of January 2.

"Changing the makeup of federal advisory committee members is a common occurrence during Administration changes. 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.

PACHA members have had problems with the way Trump runs the council since he took office.

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The remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS were fired en masse this week. He also noted that some people on the board were sworn back in as members earlier this year when their initial terms expired.

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