Donald Trump, a president with a knowledge of science so limited that he doesn’t know the difference between weather and climate, fired every member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS this week, according to a report in the Washington Blade.
Without any prior explanation, the White House sent 16 remaining members of the council termination letters via FedEx on Wednesday. Six members of the council resigned in June.
On Twitter, Scott Schoettes, a senior attorney for Lambda Legal and one of the members of the council who resigned in June, said that Trump has “no respect” for the service of the council members.
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
He continued, “Dangerous that #Trump and Co. (Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed.”
Those fired were given the option to reapply to be on the council. Many of those fired were Obama-era appointees.
“I can only speculate,” Gabriel Maldonado, a member of the council, told the Blade. “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.”
The advisory council began in 1995 under the Clinton administration and advised presidents on policy matters regarding to HIV prevention and treatment.
Trump has made more than a few missteps when it comes to HIV/AIDS. His World AIDS Day statement lacked any reference to LGBTQ people. In a recent New York Times story about his anti-immigrant stories, he also demonstrated a lack of modern understanding of the AIDS epidemic. He didn’t want Haitian refugees coming into the country because he believed they “all have AIDS.”
According to an October Blade report, the White House was scouting gay Republicans with knowledge of HIV/AIDS issues for possible inclusion on the Trump-era council.