President Donald Trump unveiled his annual budget proposal on Monday (11 March). It includes $291 million for the national fight against HIV and AIDS — while cutting over $1 billion in similar funding on a global scale.
In the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020, Trump allocated $291 million to the Department of Health and Human Services. This money is specifically allocated to end the transmission of HIV.
In his 2019 State of the Union address, Trump pledged to end new HIV transmissions in the US by 2030 — an announcement met with skepticism from many LGBTI groups.
‘My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years,’ Trump said. ‘Together, we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond.’
In the new proposal, however, Trump drastically cuts funding in the fight against HIV and AIDS ‘beyond’ the US.
‘Actions speak louder’
Trump’s budget includes $250 million cut from the Global Fund and a $1.5 billion cut to PEPFAR.
The Global Fund is an international financial organization focused on ending the epidemics of HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
PEPFAR, meanwhile, is the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. President George H.W. Bush and the Global Fund originally started this program together. According to reports, PEPFAR has helped treat and save the lives of more than 16 million people living with HIV as of 2018.
Trump also proposed cutting funding to PEPFAR last year.
Finally, Trump is also proposing cutting funding to Medicare and Medicaid. These two programs help low-income individuals, including those living with HIV.
In his proposal, Trump would cut $818 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years.
‘LGBTQ Americans were right to be skeptical about President Trump’s pledge to end HIV and AIDS and today’s budget revealed the truth: this administration is not serious about this fight,’ said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO at GLAAD.
‘Actions always speak louder than words, and the Trump Administration once again proved to people living with HIV – which includes LGBTQ Americans – that they simply cannot trust this President to do anything more than pay lip service.’