Donald Trump fires entire HIV/AIDS advisory council

  • 30/12/2017
Six had already quit in protest at President Trump's health policies.
Six had already quit in protest at President Trump's health policies. Photo credit: Getty

US President Donald Trump controversially fired his entire Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) this week, it's been revealed.

The panel, which is unpaid and makes recommendations to the White House on strategy for treating and preventing HIV/AIDS, has been around since 1995.

Six members of PACHA - which is made up of medical experts, HIV sufferers and members of the industry - had already quit the panel in June, protesting at the Trump administration's health policy.

This week, HIV reseracher Dr Patrick Sullivan told The Washington Post that a form letter was sent out that "thanked me for my past service and said that my appointment was terminated, effective immediately".

PACHA will continue with different members, executive director Kaye Hayes said in a statement, and the White House will now begin the task of making up to 25 new appointments.

She also defended Mr Trump's decision to dismiss the members, saying alterations of a federal advisory committee are "a common occurrence during administration changes".

"The Obama administration dismissed the George W Bush administration appointees to PACHA in order to bring in new voices," she said.

"All PACHA members are eligible to apply to serve on the new council that will be convened in 2018."

But outgoing members have disputed that claim, insisting that committee members are usually allowed to serve full terms.

It is not yet clear when the new appointments will be made.