The White House fired the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS in its entirety on Wednesday, informing the remaining 16 members of the council via a letter delivered by FedEx, according to a report.
The council was sent packing after six members walked away from the council this summer, announcing their resignation in a fiery opinion piece published in Newsweek.
Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of the Riverside, Calif., LGBT and HIV/AIDS group Truevolution, and one of the remaining members, confirmed to the Washington Blade they were fired but said they weren't given an explanation.
“I can only speculate,” she said. “Like any administration, they want their own people there. Many of us were Obama appointees. I was an Obama appointee, and my term was continuing until 2018.”
Scott A. Schoettes, a former HIV/AIDS council member who resigned alongside five of his colleagues in June, called the council's elimination "dangerous" because they were among the few remaining people willing to push back on "harmful policies."
Remaining #HIV/AIDS council members booted by @realDonaldTrump. No respect for their service. Dangerous that #Trump and Co. (Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed. #WeObject #PACHA6 #Resist— Scott A. Schoettes (@PozAdvocate) December 28, 2017
PACHA was created in 1995 to provide advice to the secretary of health and human services regarding programs, policies, and research for preventing and eventually curing HIV.
According to Schoettes, members of the board are appointed by the president and included" public health officials, researchers, healt care providers, faith leaders, HIV advocates, and people living with HIV."