Trump Just Fired All Members Of HIV/AIDS Council Without Explanation
President Donald Trump on Wednesday fired all members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), informing them without explanation with a letter delivered by FedEx, several news outlets reported Friday.
Sources with knowledge of the terminations told the Washington Blade that council members had been fired despite having more time on their appointments.
Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of the LGBT and HIV/AIDS group Truevolution and a remaining member of PACHA said the reasons for the firings remain unclear but may have been borne of a desire by the Trump administration to clear out appointments made by his predecessor Barack Obama.
“I can only speculate,” Maldonado said. “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 mass dismissal of the advisers marked another nadir in the administration’s dealing with the council. In June, six members resigned from PACHA writing in an open letter saying the Trump White House was pushing for legislation that would harm people living with HIV.
Scott A. Schoettes, a Chicago-based HIV/AIDS activist and one of the members of the advisory panel who resigned over the summer, tweeted yesterday that the remaining council members had been fired for calling President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “dangerous.”
According to a report published by The New Yorker in October, Donald Trump joked during a meeting with a legal scholar that “Mike Pence wants to kill all gay people.”