Trump fires entire HIV/AIDS council by FedEx letter

Trump Fires Entire HIV/AIDS Council Via FedEx, No Reason Given

In what activists see as another sign of his indifference to the AIDS epidemic, Donald Trump has fired the remaining 16 members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS "without explanation via a letter from FedEx", the Washington Blade reports.

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. No respect for their service. He was appointed to a four-year term in May 2016. "That would serve the needs of neither the president nor of people living with HIV-AIDS".

"Without it, you lose the community voice in policymaking".

In June, Schoettes penned an article for Newsweek in which he justified the resignations, accusing the president of not caring about people living with HIV.

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

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

News of the terminations comes after the Trump administration prohibited officials at the nation's top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in official documents being prepared for next year's budget. The Obama administration eliminated all of George W. Bush's appointees in the same way.

"I can only speculate", said Gabriel Maldonado, a remaining member of PACHA.

The council's website at hiv.gov has already deleted the profiles of the members who were terminated.

"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. Furthermore, Aaron Fox of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, said the administration was not even aware 1 December was Worlds AIDS Day.

"It is important to have a rolling, transitioning body that crosses administrations that really has a set of diverse outlooks on the epidemic", Sullivan said.

They also echo concerns voiced by sources close to the decision to fire the remaining PACHA advisers.

Last month, HHS posted a call for nominations to the council in the Federal Register with a deadline of January 2. "From the [Centres for Disease Control and Prevention], to this body, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there is a real problem this president has with dialogue or dissent". The nomination period closes on Tuesday. Schoettes is not optimistic that the notice will attract qualified people.

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