President Trump has fired the entire council that advises his administration about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Washington Postreported on Saturday.
In an interview with the Washington Blade, Maldonado argued that although turnover between administrations is not uncommon, the recent terminations were abnormal for two reasons: These terminations came almost a full year into the new administration, and many Obama appointees had been only recently re-sworn in under President Trump at the end of their Obama-appointed terms when Trump extended PACHA through executive order in September 2017: "It is common for appointees to be terminated and for folks to kind of want their own people in".
Scott Schoettes, one of those who resigned then, tweeted about the firings Thursday, saying, "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", he added.
Sources told the Washington Blade that members were likely fired to clear out Obama appointees even though their appointments had not yet expired.
More broadly, when asked whether he thinks the Trump administration cares about the LGBT community and those living with HIV/AIDS, he said, "Bigotry and homophobia have been around since the beginning of the country, sometimes it takes a voice for a particularly type of sentiment to be resurrected". The CDC director has denied those words are "banned" and said they were suggestions on how to get a project funded under the Trump administration.
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. "It is common for appointees to be terminated and for folks to kind of want their own people in", he told the paper. President Barack Obama appointed Chung to the advisory council on HIV-AIDS.
The firing of the remaining board members provides further evidence that the Trump administration isn't interested in the issue.
"Changing the makeup of federal advisory committee members is a common occurrence during administration changes", Hayes said in a statement, according to CNN.
In June, six members of the PACHA resigned the posts in protest over what they called inaction from Trump on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.
He also noted that numerous dismissed council members whose terms expired earlier this year were sworn back in to their positions months ago - even after Trump signed an executive order which kept PACHA going for another year.
"I think there's no way to know why President Trump chose to do this at this time". He also wants more than $1 billion in cuts from worldwide programs like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
But in the meantime, an estimated 1.2 million people have HIV/AIDS in the United States, with the brunt of the epidemic hitting the African American community, and especially, young, black, gay men, where the majority of new HIV infections are occurring.
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