YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Without any warning or explanation whatsoever, President Donald Trump fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS or PACHA. Did he call them in person or do it in a way that makes sense?
Of course not. He sent letters through Fedex telling them to vacate their positions.
Six members of PACHA resigned on their own in June. At that time, they said they quit because the Trump administration abandoned them. One of the members who quit at that time, Scott Schoettes, Chicago based HIV/AIDS activist and senior attorney for Lambda Legal, said:
“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.”
Remaining #HIV/AIDS council members booted by @realDonaldTrump. 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. #WeObject #PACHA6 #Resist
— Scott A. Schoettes (@PozAdvocate) December 28, 2017
ONLY TRUMP KNOWS WHY AND THAT’S DEBATEABLE
Those whose jobs were terminated this week are still entirely in the dark as to why. Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of the Riverside California-based LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS group called Truevoluton, and a PACHA member, has no clue either. He said:
“I can only speculate. Like any administration, they want their own people there. Many of us were Obama appointees. I was an Obama appointee and my term was continuing until 2018.”
Maldanado also has an alternative theory as well. He points to the fact that Trump banned words like “diversity” and “transgender” in budget documents from the CDC as proof this administration doesn’t intend to help the people in those communities, which is precisely what PACHA was designed to do.
“I was co-chair of the disparities committee, so much of my advocacy and policy references surrounded vulnerable populations, addressing issuing of diverse communities, specifically looking at the impacts of the LGBT community, namely, the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS to people of color, gay men, transgender women. And a lot of those key vulnerable populations are not being prioritized in this administration.”
NOTHING NEW FROM THE ORANGE MAN IN THE OVAL OFFICE
This sort of stuff is nothing new from what everyone has been experiencing over the past year. Trump has decimated so many government agencies; it’s a wonder there are any left at all. Along with the two theories above as to why this happened, there is a third.
There are some that think perhaps Trump is doing this so he can further erase anything at all associated with Obama. PACHA has been around far longer than Obama, however. But, the appointees to the council were chosen by Obama, so there’s the catch.
Whatever the reason, there is now a broad swath of the population who just won’t have anywhere to turn when they need help and guidance with these horrible diseases.
Trump is trying to fill the positions with his own people, of course. The administration did inform those fired today that they are free to apply to gain their jobs back after Tuesday.
Trump has already contacted many gay Republicans (yes they DO exist) however, and it’s doubtful Trump will hire anyone outside that exact demographic.