By Tia Hearn
Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS have angrily resigned, saying that President Trump doesn’t care about HIV.
Scott Schoettes, Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses Burley III, Michelle Ogle and Grissel Granados publicly announced their resignations in a joint letter published in Newsweek titled, “Trump doesn’t care about HIV. We’re outta here.”
The group said that the administration “has no strategy” to address HIV/AIDS, doesn’t consult experts when working on policy and “pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease.”
“As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care,” they wrote.
The group noted that Trump took down the Office of National AIDS Policy website when he took office and hasn’t appointed anyone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
They also said that the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill will dramatically hurt those with HIV/AIDS, making it the “final straw for us — more like a two-by-four than a straw” in deciding to leave the council.
“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,” they wrote.
“We hope the members of Congress who have the power to affect healthcare reform will engage with us and other advocates in a way that the Trump Administration apparently will not.”