President Donald Trump has fired all members of his advisory panel on HIV and Aids, known as PACHA, without explanation or reason.
Trump Administration fires remaining members of HIV/AIDS council https://t.co/riVgjbaWl8
— Salon (@Salon) December 29, 2017
The council was developed under former President Bill Clinton and consisted of a diverse team of experts and activists who advised the White House on aspects of HIV and Aids prevention, research, activism, outreach and aid.
According to Newsweek, Trump has sought to make $150 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.
The mass firing followed the resignation in June of six other members of PACHA, who were frustrated with Trump’s health care policies.
“I had recently been re-sworn in through 2018, so why now?” said Gabriel Maldonado, one of the fired advisers. “The timing feels awkward. I’ve criticized the Trump government’s HIV policy … I think we all know broadly that there is a hostility that this administration has to people in the LGBTQ community, particularly [among] those on the evangelical right wing.”
Over summer, six members of PACHA had resigned in protest, claiming the Trump administration did not care about the issue. This week, their remaining members were issued letters of termination by trump.