Six members of the council resigned in June to protest Trump’s policies concerning the disease, and the remaining 16 were canned on Wednesday, according to Scott Schoettes, a Chicago-based HIV/AIDS activist and lawyer for Lambda Legal.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
Sources told the Washington Blade that many council members were fired even though their terms had not expired.
The terminated members, the website said, were given the option to reapply after Tuesday.
Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of the Riverside, Calif.-based LGBT and HIV/AIDS group Truevolution, said he had no clue why they were given the boot.
“I can only speculate,” Maldonado told the Blade.
“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,” he added.
The firings were not unusual.
The Obama administration, for example, got rid of all of President George W. Bush’s appointees before making new appointments.