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Trump doesn’t mention LGBTQ people in World AIDS Day proclamation

Trump doesn’t mention LGBTQ people in World AIDS Day proclamation

Though the LGBTQ community and people of color are at a disproportionate risk for HIV, Donald Trump failed to include any mention of them in his proclamation for World AIDS Day.

Designated on 1 December every year since 1988, the day raises awareness about AIDS and the spread of HIV infection.

According to the CDC, more gay and bisexual men live with HIV in the United States than any other group. This becomes more disproportionate when race is taken into account.

‘Today, on World AIDS Day, we honor those who have lost their lives to AIDS, we celebrate the remarkable progress we have made in combatting this disease, and we reaffirm our ongoing commitment to end AIDS as a public health threat,’ Trump’s proclamation begins.

A vast difference

During Barack Obama’s presidency, he similarly made a statement for World AIDS Day. However, his reads quite differently.

‘Although we have come far in recent decades, our work is not yet done and the urgency to intervene in this epidemic is critical,’ he wrote.

‘Gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, black and Latino Americans, people living in the Southern United States, and people who inject drugs are at a disproportionate risk.’

Similarly, Trump also ignored Pride Month in June. Though his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a statement of support, Trump never did.

When pressed for comment about today’s proclamation, the White House press secretary’s office told the Daily Beast: ‘HIV/AIDS afflicts people of all types.’

‘Deeply committed’

Trump’s proclamation further boasts the success of President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This global program began under President George W. Bush in 2003.

However, his proposed budget cuts HIV/AIDS programs by 17%.

Still, his statement claims the administration ‘remains deeply committed’ to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Yet in June, six people resigned from the HIV/AIDS Presidential Advisory Council because they claimed Trump ‘doesn’t care’.

‘Words on a piece of paper are merely that’

Aaron Fox, the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Director of Government Relations, told GSN he believes this proclamation is ‘indicative of this administration’s policies to leave out vulnerable communities’.

He further noted there was no mention of Medicare or Medicard in the proclamation.

‘Together, they constitute the programs that serve the largest amount of people living with HIV in the United States,’ he said.

This combined with the PEPFAR comments make all of this ring hollow for Fox.

‘Words on a piece of paper are merely that,’ he said. ‘The positions this administration has supported are not positions that will improve the lives of people living with HIV.’

Fox also revealed that multiple sources confirmed the administration had no idea 1 December was World AIDS Day.

‘They had to be prompted by HIV advocates in DC to put out a proclamation, because they were not aware it even existed.’

He added he does believe the White House will be putting up a red ribbon tomorrow, as is tradition.