Because the Trump administration couldn’t finish 2017 without one final needlessly cruel act, the White House reportedly fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS this week.
According to Scott Schoettes, a former council member who quit in June, the Department of Health and Human Resources quietly terminated the remaining council members this week:
It’s unclear who initiated the firings, but it’s hard not to see Vice President Mike Pence’s fingerprints on this decision. It’s also hard not to see the timing of the firings—over a holiday week, when most people aren’t paying attention to political news—as intentional.
But Pence isn’t the only virulent homophobe in the White House. At a Cabinet meeting on immigration in June, Trump reportedly said that Haitians “all have AIDS.” The White House omitted any reference to LGBTQ people in its public statements on World AIDS Day. Trump has continued to push for a ban on transgender men and women serving in the U.S. military, against the Pentagon’s own wishes. One of Trump’s judicial nominees, Jeff Mateer, has proudly endorsed discrimination on the basis sexual orientation, and described trans children as proof that “Satan’s plan was working.”
And earlier this month, the White House directed federal agencies, including HHS and the Centers for Disease Control, to censor seven words from their publications: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
But hey, Ivanka Trump loves her LGBTQ friends!
We’ve reached out to the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services for confirmation, and will update this post if we hear back.