And now, for your morning aneurysm! At a rally in Cincinnati on Thursday, "President" Donald Trump received raucous applause after promising to cure AIDS, were he re-elected, Newsweek reports. Not just that, but he also promised to eliminate cancer, and put men on Mars, too. We love a stretch goal!
"We will come up with the cures to many, many problems, to many, many diseases including cancer, and others, and we're getting closer all the time," Trump said. "We will eradicate AIDS in America, and we're very close. We will lay the foundation for landing American astronauts on the surface of Mars." Wow, three things that have virtually nothing to do with each other, and no real plans or evidence to back those promises!
"The things we're doing in our country today, there's never been anything like it," Trump told the crowd. "We will be ending the AIDS epidemic shortly in America, and curing childhood cancer very shortly."
Well, now that that's over, let's topline Trump's track record on the state of HIV/AIDS in this country, shall we? In his State of the Union this year, the president did in fact promise to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic with an ill-conceived "plan."
"But Trump's seeming public health 180 isn't exactly the change it seems to be," writes Mathew Rodriguez for Out about the president's proposed condom-driven tactics. "The truth is, focusing on behavior will not result in curbing the epidemic, especially if the plan is throwing condoms as a problem we've been throwing condoms at for four decades. Instead, any policy about AIDS has to recognize that the disease may be transmitted by sexual activity (among other ways), but is caused by structural inequality, especially racism, sexism, homophobia, and economic inequality."
And just to bullet a few other things Trump has done to worsen the HIV/AIDS epidemic since taking office...
Trump previously proposed cutting PEPFAR, a multi-billion dollar global plan that helps fight HIV/AIDS in countries abroad.
On National HIV Testing Day this year, the Trump Administration released a statement omittingLGBTQ+ people from the epidemic entirely.
Last fall, Trump's Administration outlined a plan to reallocate $5.7 million of funding HIV/AIDS relief programs in order to detain more immigrants.
Budget documents from 2017 reported $342 million in cuts to HIV/AIDS prevention and research.
$26 million of those cuts would make it more difficult to receive housing opportunities for people living with AIDS, vastly affecting queer and trans people.
In June of 2017, Trump failed to appoint a director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, causing six members of the president's advisory council on HIV/AIDS quit in protest. The rest were suddenly fired without warning in December.