'Trump Doesn't Care About HIV': Six Resign From Presidential HIV Advisory Council



According to The Hill on Saturday night, six members on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS have chose to quit, ripping the president during an initial interview and statement with Newsweek.

In light of the administration's willful negligence, people are calling for the other 15 members of the council to resign as well.

Schoettes, who is openly HIV positive, added that the White House is also pushing legislation that would harm people with HIV and "reverse gains made in the fight against the disease".

"Because we do not believe the Trump Administration is listening to-or cares-about the communities we serve as members of PACHA, we have decided it is time to step down", the members wrote.

Schoettes cited data showing that only 40 percent of people living with HIV in the United States can access life- saving medications.

Schoettes, counsel and HIV project director at Lambda Legal, resigned Tuesday from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, along with Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses Burley III, Michelle Ogle and Grissel Granados.

Schoettes noted that while the commission met with Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders during the primaries, it didn't have the opportunity to meet with then-candidate Trump. And on the day Trump took office, the administration removed the Office of National AIDS Policy website. He mentioned that the website for the Office of National AIDS policy has been taken down after Trump assumed office and is not yet in place.

The overall main idea in the op-ed is how the administration has created a plan to scale back the Affordable Care Act, claiming the law has resulted in "gains in the percentage of people with HIV who know their status, the percentage engaged in care, [and] the percentage receiving successful treatment".

"Between. defunding Medicaid expansion, imposing per-person caps on benefits, and/or block granting the program, the changes to Medicaid contemplated by the American Health Care Act would be particularly devastating for people living with HIV". 'However, we can not ignore the many signs that the Trump Administration does not take the on-going epidemic or the needs of people living with HIV seriously'. "Where's their courage? This should have been a mass protest with ALL members resigning", wrote prominent, long-time AIDS activist Peter Staley.

The White House has yet to respond to the council members' resignations.

Meanwhile, Schoettes and his five other colleagues are hoping that members of Congress who can influence healthcare will engage with them in a way that Trump and his cabinet apparently will not.

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