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Mass Resignation From Trump's HIV/AIDS Advisory Council
6/19/2017 9:17 AM

Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) have resigned in protest against the Trump administration's regressive health policies and lack of interest in combating the illness.

In a joint letter published Friday in Newsweek, Scott Schoettes, Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses Burley III, Michelle Ogle, and Grissel Granados announced their resignation from the Council.

The top health advisors said as advocates for people living with HIV, they have dedicated their lives to combating the disease, but "no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care".

They alleged that the Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, and seeks no input from experts to formulate HIV policy.

They expressed concern over an impending legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease.

Schoettes, counsel and HIV project director at Lambda Legal, warned that the sweeping changes proposed to the Obama-era health care scheme would be "extremely harmful" to people living with HIV or AIDS.

PACHA provides advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding programs, policies, and research to promote effective treatment, prevention, and an eventual cure for HIV.

Members of the 25-member Council are appointed by the President.

With the resignation, 19 members remain in the Council, who include public health officials, researchers, health care providers, faith leaders, HIV advocates, and people living with HIV.

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