While Donald Trump has been busy awkwardly dancing with the king of Saudi Arabia and posing for uncomfortable pictures with the pope, his administration quietly released his latest budget proposal and–guess what?–it’s absolutely awful. Especially for LGBTQ people, people of color, and especially for anyone living with HIV/AIDS.
Well, in a nutshell, Trump is proposing:
- An $838 million cut to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where most HIV/AIDS research is conducted.
- A 36.75% cut to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which has spent the past several years collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity to better address LGBTQ health disparities.
- Total elimination of AIDS Education and Training Centers and Special Projects of National Significance, which are run under the auspices of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.
- A $1.1 billion cut (20% of global HIV funding) for treatment of people living with HIV in Africa and other parts of the globe. The group amfAR estimates this would result in the loss of more than 1 million lives and cause as many as 300,000 children to become orphans.
- A 37.3% cut to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was created by the Affordable Care Act and currently funds a number of important public health projects and initiatives.
“This budget proposes a radical rejection of the social compact that has sustained our country for half a century,” Sean Cahill, PhD, Director of Health Policy Research at the Fenway Institute, says in a press release. “It would also undermine important progress we have made in preventing and treating HIV here and in Africa. It casts our most vulnerable people aside and leaves them to fend for themselves without the resources they need to succeed.”