In a stunning show of disrespect Donald Trump failed to mention the LGBTQ community in his official statement recognizing World AIDS Day...
“On World AIDS Day, we honor those who have lost their lives to AIDS, we celebrate the remarkable progress we have made in combatting this disease, and we reaffirm our ongoing commitment to end AIDS as a public health threat,”
This is mind boggling since, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gay and bisexual men account for an estimated 70 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S..
FACT CHECK: About 1.1 million people in the U.S. are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, according to the CDC, with another 36 million worldwide.
Former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton both mentioned the disease’s disproportionate impact on the LGBTQ community. Unsurprisingly, like Trump, George W. Bush also failed to note the relationship between gay people and HIV/AIDS in his past statements on the day.
Scott Schoettes, the HIV Project director at Lambda Legal, slammed Trump's failure to mention the LGBTQ community and other vulnerable populations saying the Trump administration “simply doesn’t care” about the disease.
Schoettes was one of six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS to resign from the council in June in protest of this administrations treatment of the LGBTQ community and the council.
The ONE campaign, an international nonprofit that targets preventable diseases, also released a report slamming the Trump administration's approach to HIV/AIDS saying...
“For the first time in 15 years, the U.S. government is showing signs of retreat from this fight. The Trump administration appears ready to unilaterally trade the iconic red ribbon for a white flag of surrender in the global fight against AIDS.”
This accusation is borne out of Donald Trump's proposal to cut $800 million from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which supports treatment, testing and counseling around the world, particularly in Africa.
In another slap in the face to those that suffer from HIV/AIDS the website for the White House’s Office of National AIDS Policy has been inaccessible since Trump’s inauguration day and there appear to be no clear plans regarding when or if Trump plans to reopen the site or the office.
Since 1988, World AIDS Day has been observed every year on Dec. 1 to raise awareness of the disease and commemorate those who have died from it.