The remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS have been fired by Donald Trump, reportedly without any explanation.
Six members of PACHA resigned in June, among them Scott Schoettes, a Chicago-based HIV/AIDS activist and senior attorney for Lambda Legal. According to the Washington Blade, Schoettes said Trump had “no respect” for their service, and that it was “dangerous that #Trump and Co (Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed.”
On Wednesday of this week, via a letter from Fed Ex, the White House fired the remaining 16 members of PACHA. According to sources with knowledge of the advisory council, many members were fired even though they had time remaining on their terms as advisers.
One of the recently-terminated members is Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of Truevolution, an HIV/AIDS group based in Riverside, California. “I can only speculate,” Maldonado 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.” Maldonado went on to say that “ideological and philosophical differences” could have also led to the terminations.
“It is common for appointees to be terminated and for folks to kind of want their own people in,” Maldonado said. “I think where the discrepancy comes in is why a year later, No. 1? Two, [for] many of us, our terms were over earlier this year and we were sworn back in, and three were stayed on nearly four months after an executive order was signed continuing the council.”
It should be noted that, during the Obama administration, almost all of George W. Bush’s appointees were terminated prior to new appointees being named. Read the full Washington Blade article, here.