President Trump has already proven that he doesn’t understand the concepts of climate change, economics, law, international diplomacy and the American government, so you may not be surprised to learn that he also doesn’t understand how diseases work. Trump just terminated all the members of his administration’s HIV/AIDS Council without explanation, which suggests that he doesn’t think AIDS is a problem affecting nearly 37 million people on this planet. Perhaps, like Rep. Betty Price, he still thinks HIV/AIDS is a “gay disease.” Or perhaps he doesn’t consider it a problem since its non-queer victims in the United States are predominantly women and people of color.
In June, six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned after claiming that the President “simply does not care” about HIV/AIDS, but 16 members still stayed on in some capacity. On Wednesday, however, Trump reportedly wiped out all 16 of them with a termination letter delivered via FedEx. (Seriously, he couldn’t interrupt his daily eight hours of TV and deficit-hiking, interminable golfing to, idk, send over an aide or at least a Facebook message with a few fun stickers or something?)
The council was designed to include “doctors, members of industry, members of the community and, very importantly, people living with HIV,” said Scott Schoettes, a lawyer with Lambda Legal. Schoettes was among those that quit in June. He went out with a blazing commentary to Newsweek: “The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and – most concerning – pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease.”
Additionally, the Trump administration has not yet appointed a director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, and has committed to cutting $800 million from ongoing efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. So in case you don’t already think Trump is casually trying to kill poor people and minorities, here’s some more proof.