The Trump administration reportedly fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS on Wednesday (27 December).
According to the Washington Blade, the remaining 16 members received a letter from FedEx revealing their termination with no explanation.
HIV/AIDS activist and senior attorney for Lambda Lega, Scott Schoettes, tweeted about it.
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
‘No respect for their service,’ he wrote. ‘Dangerous that #Trump and Co. (Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed.’
PACHA members have had problems with the way Trump runs the council since he took office. In June, six members resigned, including Schoettes. They wrote in their resignation letter they could no longer effectively do their job with a president ‘who simply does not care’.
For Worlds AIDS Day, the Trump administration did not mention LGBTQ people. Furthermore, Aaron Fox of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, said the administration was not even aware 1 December was Worlds AIDS Day.
‘Many of us were Obama appointees’
The administration gave no reason for the firing.
However, some former members have their own ideas.
‘I can only speculate, like any administration, they want their own people there,’ said Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of the LGBT and HIV/AIDS group Truevolution. ‘Many of us were Obama appointees. I was an Obama appointee and my term was continuing until 2018.’
Many have noted Trump’s predicliction for undoing Obama’s policies.
— CNN (@CNN) October 14, 2017
He also mentioned different priorities between the current administration and former council members.
Most of Maldonado’s work involves addressing the ‘disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS to people of color, gay men, transgender women’. However, according to him, ‘a lot of those key vulnerable populations are not being prioritized in this administration’.
A lot of the confusion comes around the timing.
‘Many of us, our terms were over earlier this year and we were sworn back in,’ Maldonado revealed.
It’s unclear if the administration will continue the council and when they’ll introduce new members.