ibusinesslines.com March 19, 2018

HIV/AIDS Council members resign after Trump inaction

19 June 2017, 03:54 | Melissa Porter

HIV/AIDS Council members resign after Trump inaction

Several members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV  AIDS quit on Tuesday and penned a joint-statement blasting the Trump administration

Six members left the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Schoettes is not only counsel for PACHA but is also HIV Project Director at the pioneering LGBTQ legal group Lambda Legal.

Six top health advisors have resigned from President Donald Trump's advisory council on HIV/AIDS, complaining that the latter doesn't really care about combating the illness. 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. Furthermore, Trump has not named anyone to lead the Office of National AIDS Policy.

Scott Schoettes, Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses Burley III, Michelle Ogle and Grissel Granados publicly announced their resignations in a in Newsweek titled, "Trump doesn't care about HIV".

Schoettes goes on to criticize the Trump administration's continued plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make cuts to Medicaid.

'And we know who the biggest losers will be if states are given the option of eliminating essential health benefits or allowing insurers to charge people with HIV substantially more than others, ' Schoettes writes.

The PACHA is responsible for overseeing the United States' strategy to fight against HIV/AIDS and provides the president with information and suggestions regarding the disease. PACHA was a follow up of President Ronald Reagan's 1987 President's Commission on the HIV Epidemic and 1988's National Commission on AIDS.

"We will be more effective from the outside, advocating for change and protesting policies that will hurt the health of the communities we serve and the country as a whole if this administration continues down the current path".

However, the Trump administration is not aware of these realities.

"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", the members said.

In light of the administration's willful negligence, people are calling for the other 15 members of the council to resign as well. "Where's their courage? This should have been a mass protest with ALL members resigning", wrote prominent, long-time AIDS activist Peter Staley.

The members who resigned said that they could be more "effective from the outside" and would keep advocating the measures to reform the healthcare facilities and systems in order to provide better care to those afflicted with this disease.

The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.

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