Members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) were surprised to receive an envelope from FedEx yesterday.
"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", former PACHA member Scott Schoettes wrote in an op-ed for Newsweek. 'Dangerous that #Trump and Co.
She also defended Mr Trump's decision to dismiss the members, saying alterations of a federal advisory committee are "a common occurrence during administration changes".
"I knew that the people that remained were speaking their truth, and I've got a feeling that was not appreciated", he said.
"It is a risky thing when the administration is eliminating people whose views are based in science and community experience", HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal in an interview with GPB. "Many of us were Obama appointees". He was appointed to a four-year term in May 2016.
The administration gave no reason for the firing. The CDC director has denied those words are banned.More news: Kenya: President Kenyatta Congratulates Liberia's Weah on Election Victory
Most of Maldonado's work involves addressing the "disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS to people of color, gay men, transgender women". Over 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, with the most vulnerable populations being gay and bisexual men, particularly African American gay and bisexual men, according to HHS.
Maldonado added he intends to publish an open letter to the community about his termination on Friday. "The Obama administration dismissed the George W. Bush administration appointees to PACHA in order to bring in new voices".
It's not immediately clear why the other PACHA members were fired. Reports came out that Trump, behind closed doors and complaining about immigration statistics, was allegedly upset that tens of thousands of Haitians came to the US each year, telling advisers the immigrants from that nation "all have AIDS". "I think where the discrepancy comes in is why a year later, number 1?" He also noted that some people on the board were sworn back in as members earlier this year when their initial terms expired.
Earlier this summer, six members of the council quit in protest to what they viewed was inaction by the Trump administration on policies towards HIV and AIDS. For one thing, he was knocked for his failure to appoint an HIV/AIDS chief, the first time that such a position has been vacant since its creation in 1993.
PACHA, founded in 1995, provides advice to the administration regarding policies and research on the treatment, prevention and curing of HIV and AIDS. And the president's 2018 budget proposes massive cuts to important HIV/AIDS programs. The Republican-controlled Congress has thus far continued to fund these programs at previous levels.
"The timing is a little bit unorthodox compared to what the Obama administration's approach was", Maldonado said.