U.S. President Donald Trump fired the rest of the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS earlier this week. No explanation was given by the president regarding their terminations, although some expect the firings are politically motivated.
One of the recently-terminated members is Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of Truevolution, an HIV/AIDS group based in Riverside, California.
'Like any administration, they want their own people there. The Bush administration continued the council's charter and during the Obama administration the council created and monitored the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. "I was an Obama appointee and my term was continuing until 2018".
PACHA, founded in 1995, provides advice to the administration regarding policies and research on the treatment, prevention and curing of HIV and AIDS. Medications have advanced since then, making HIV a much more manageable diagnosis for many Americans.More news: Italian Clothing Company Allowed To Use Steve Jobs Name
He believes Trump has no AIDS policy and was discouraged with the administration's World AIDS proclamation. "No respect for their service", Schoettes wrote on Twitter Thursday. Fangerous that #Trump and Co.
She added that the members were thanked for their "leadership, dedication and commitment".
This is not the first advisory council Trump has scuttled since taking the oval office - notably dismantling a federal advisory committee on climate change in August.
"I've criticized the Trump government's HIV policy ..." "I think where the discrepancy comes in is why a year later, number one?"More news: IDF Retaliates After Gaza Rocket Hits Kibbutz Sha'ar HaNegev
Speaking to the Washington Post following the December removal of the remaining PACHA members, Schoettes alleged that loyalty to the president, not credentials, will likely be the driving factor in approving new nominations to the council, saying: "The only criteria for serving this president is loyalty".
Trump's relationship with the council has been beset by controversy, with six staffers quitting in June amidst discontent as to how the president has been handling the epidemic of HIV/AIDS.
Trump has sought to make $150 million (€125 million) in cuts to HIV/AIDS programs in the 2018 fiscal year budget, as well as deep cuts to global projects to fight AIDS and other diseases, Newsweek reported.
Maldonado noted the PACHA terminations are taking place at the year's end after the June resignations, which he said is "a little too coincidental". Neither statement includes a explicit mention of LGBT people, who are considered to have face the brunt of the disease.More news: Democrat Doug Jones Officially Declared Winner Over Roy Moore
New appointments may be coming soon.