President Donald Trump has fired the remaining members of the HIV/AIDS council, sending them pink slips in the mail via FedEx.
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.
'No respect for their service, ' he wrote. He was appointed to a four-year term in May 2016.
"Changing the makeup of federal advisory committee members is a common occurrence during administration changes", Hayes said in the statement.
But it's also not unusual for an administration to clear out the previous administration's appointees like this.
Sullivan, who's a professor at Emory University specializing in HIV research, did not explicitly criticize the administration's decision to fire him and his fellow panel members, adding that there are plenty of scientists who can fill his position as long as US policy sticks to "well-established" and science-based research.
But outgoing members have disputed that claim, insisting that committee members are usually allowed to serve full terms.
News of the terminations comes after the Trump administration prohibited officials at the nation's top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in official documents being prepared for next year's budget. "Every organization serving people living with HIV and fighting to end this epidemic must galvanize their networks of clients, staff, and volunteers to resist and fight back against these risky HIV policy decisions", he added.
"Like any administration, they want their own people there", Maldonado, who heads an LGBT and HIV/AIDS organization called Truevolution, said. He later confirmed to The Independent that all of the remaining advisers had been let go, citing three members who had received termination letters from the administration.
Since Schoettes' resignation, Trump has come under additional fire over his failure to mention LGBTQ people in his statements recognizing National HIV Testing Day and World AIDS Day. Former President Barack Obama did the same thing to George W. Bush's HIV/AIDS council. "It is important to have a rolling, transitioning body that crosses administrations that really has a set of diverse outlooks on the epidemic", Sullivan said.
GPB has learned that members of the council were notified yesterday in writing about the decision and were advised their dismissals were effective immediately.
Trump's ignorance on the issue was evident last week as well.
"The only criteria for serving this president is loyalty", he said. "I think this is a President and an administration that doesn't value dialogue and dissenting views".