Trump Reportedly Fires HIV/AIDS Panel Without Explanation

The remaining 16 members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS were told they were being fired Wednesday, via a FedExed letter from the White House. Six members resigned in June in protest of what they called the Trump administration’s inaction on the issue. Gabriel Maldonado, a PACHA adviser, confirmed the firings, but said the “explanation is still unclear.” “Like any administration, they want their own people there,” Maldonado told the Washington Blade. “Many of us were Obama appointees. I was an Obama appointee and my term was continuing until 2018.” Scott Schoettes, a council member who quit in June (and a senior lawyer for Lambda Legal), called the Trump move a “purge,” tweeting that the White House was “eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed.” In September, Trump had renewed PACHA’s brief for another year.