Six of the 18 members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS have resigned, explaining to Newsweek that President Donald Trump "does not care" about those who have the disease.
"The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the ongoing 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," according to Scott Schoettes, who wrote in the name of all six members of the council who resigned.
The resignations are likely to increase concerns about the Trump administration's policies on public health, especially considering his proposed budget cuts in the area, Axios reported.
Those resigning accused Trump of "implementing policies and supporting legislation that will reverse the gains made in recent years" for combatting the AIDS epidemic, such as taking down the Office of National AIDS Policy website upon entering the White House and, so far, failing to appoint anyone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
The group said that the final straw that lead them to quit the council was Trump's healthcare policies, which, if implemented, they declared would severely harm those living with HIV.
The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS was founded in 1995 by President Bill Clinton in order to give the White House advice about the AIDS epidemic, and President George W. Bush renewed its charter in 2001, according to NBC News.
Those on the board include doctors, scientists, HIV advocates, religious leaders, academics, legal experts, health care providers and public health officials.
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