(Washington, DC, February 5) – Tonight, Donald Trump will lay out his State of the Union for the year ahead. Early reports indicate that Trump may talk of the need for bipartisanship and make a commitment to see the end of the transmission of HIV by 2030.
“HIV advocates all agree that ending transmission is an important goal. Based on Trump’s repeatedly broken promises, we have cause to question his commitment until we see the necessary funding flowing to strategies that will actually end transmission,” said Stacey Long Simmons, director of advocacy and action at the National LGBTQ Task Force. Simmons added, “If Trump was serious about HIV, he wouldn’t have proposed HIV funding cuts in his first two budgets. If Trump was serious about helping those with HIV and reducing the transmission of HIV, he wouldn’t have abruptly dismissed the presidential council on HIV and left the council vacant for nearly a year. If Trump was serious about reducing the transmission of HIV, he wouldn’t have selected a vice president that gutted funding for health clinics, leading to an HIV outbreak in rural Indiana.”
Simmons went on to say, “When Trump gets serious about ending the transmission of HIV, he should commit to fully funding the Ryan White Care Act, HIV programs at the Centers for Disease Control, and federal HIV housing assistance programs.”
Without fully funding multiple strategies and engaging those directly impacted, Trump would be gaslighting everyone who wants to see an end to HIV and AIDS. It would be wonderful if a sitting U.S. president committed to reducing the spread of HIV and assisting those living with the virus, but the Trump administration has consistently proven to be inconsistent on health issues. For example, Trump’s Health and Human Services proposed a federal rule to give doctors a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, which would adversely impact assistance for people living with HIV.
“How would we be able to receive care if doctors can refuse to help us? As long as Trump and Pence are in the White House, our community’s access to affordable, culturally competent health care is at risk,” said Long Simmons. “The National LGBTQ Task Force is not buying what Trump’s selling.”
When audiences put together their watch parties, in addition to Stacey Abrams’s response, the Task Force suggests watching the “State of the LGBTQ Movement speech” delivered by Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey and Deputy Executive Director Kierra Johnson at the Creating Change Conference last week in Detroit.
“We know of no greater show of strength in this time than the insistence that we are here, we will show up for each other, and we are not going to let that guy in the White House break us down,” Carey stated during the State of the Movement. Watch the full State of the Movement here.
The National LGBTQ Task Force is the oldest national LGBTQ advocacy group in the country. The National LGBTQ Task Force builds power, takes action and creates change to achieve freedom and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. As a progressive gender, racial, economic and social justice organization, the Task Force works toward a society that values and respects the diversity of human expression and identity.