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Trump Fires Entire Council on HIV/AIDS With No Explanation

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President Donald Trump has dismissed all 16 members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS without giving an explanation.

Scott Schoettes, a longtime HIV/AIDS activist who resigned from the council in June over the president's inaction on the issue, announced that the rest of the council had been terminated on Wednesday.

Schoettes wrote in an op-ed in Newsweek after resigning that "the Trump Administration does not take the on-going epidemic or the needs of people living with HIV seriously."

Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of Truevolution, a LGBT and HIV/AIDS awareness organization, told the Washington Blade: "I can only speculate" on why he and his council members were dismissed.

"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."

Although it is normal for a new administration to dismiss council members appointed by the previous administration before appointing their own, though Maldonado questioned the "unorthodox" timing of the decision.

"It is common for appointees to be terminated and for folks to kind of want their own people in," Maldonado said. "I think where the discrepancy comes in is why a year later, number one? Two, many of us, our terms were over earlier this year and we were sworn back in, and three were stayed on nearly four months after an executive order was signed continuing the council."