Trump Administration To Retain Ambassador Birx As PEPFAR Coordinator, ‘Showing Genuine Concern For’ Program’s Continuity
Washington Post: Trump team’s compassionate act will keep up the momentum on AIDS prevention
Michael Gerson, opinion writer
“This Inauguration Day brings an act of compassion, outreach, and bipartisanship by the Trump leadership team. The Trump administration will retain Ambassador Deborah Birx as the coordinator of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) until a successor is named and confirmed. This action was taken, I am told by administration sources, at the urging of Ivanka Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. … Birx is in the process of shifting resources to effective AIDS prevention efforts that will reduce the future burden of the disease, with a special emphasis on helping adolescent girls avoid infection. A gap of leadership would have slowed the momentum of the program and imposed a cost in lives. … [PEPFAR] has received strong and consistent support from congressional leaders in both parties. … Now the Trump administration is showing genuine concern for the continuity of this lifesaving, bipartisan effort and demonstrating that there is a constituency in the White House for America’s dramatically successful global engagement on health…” (1/20).