Trump Announces Plan To End AIDS In ‘United States And Beyond’ In SOTU Speech; Experts Say Goal Achievable While Some Remain Skeptical About Administration’s Record

The Atlantic: Stopping HIV Would Require an Entirely Different Trump
“The grand gesture of commitment to an implausible health goal is a State of the Union tradition. … On Tuesday night, Donald Trump championed ending AIDS in the United States. ‘My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years,’ the president said. ‘Together, we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond.’ Leaked transcripts of the speech did not include ‘and beyond,’ which was presumably ad-libbed. That would be a much bigger commitment…” (Hamblin, 2/6).

CBS News: Trump promises to “defeat AIDS,” but his track record leaves critics skeptical
“…Critics aren’t convinced Mr. Trump can deliver on that promise. In a tweet Tuesday night, Representative Barbara Lee, the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, wrote that the president’s ‘record on HIV has been abysmal.’ … In a statement, AIDS United and other groups said, ‘We stand ready to work with him and his administration if they are serious. But to date, this administration’s actions speak louder than words and have moved us in the wrong direction’…” (Smith, 2/6).

New York Times: Trump Plan to Stop Spread of HIV Will Target ‘Hot Spot’ Areas
“…Officials have been planning an offensive against HIV with the precision of a military campaign. They intend to deploy platoons of community health workers to step up the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infections. [Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex] Azar said Mr. Trump would seek substantial new funds for the effort, but he refused to say how much…” (Pear, 2/5).

Roll Call: Trump could be his own biggest obstacle on HIV/AIDS plan
“…Trump is winning some praise for the goal, and most advocates say that, scientifically, it is achievable. However, the administration’s broader policies, such as liberalizing health insurance regulations and cutting discretionary spending, are at odds with increasing access to drugs and other steps that could end the spread of the high-profile disease…” (Siddons, 2/5).

Science: Applause, with some raised eyebrows, to Trump’s pledge to end AIDS in the U.S. by 2030
“…Shortly after the speech, the Department of Health and Human services released this fact sheet about the proposal; the White House is expected to release its annual budget request to Congress on 11 March…” (Cohen, 2/5).

STAT: Can the U.S. end the HIV epidemic in a decade, as Trump pledged?
“… ‘There were high expectations that the president would use this opportunity to announce something bold on HIV in the U.S.,’ said Jen Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. ‘While getting anything into the (State of the Union) is always an achievement and important, this announcement had few details. There was no detail on funding, for example, or the specific components of what might be done,’ she said. ‘Without this detail, it is hard to say what this will mean for truly making a difference on HIV’…” (Branswell, 2/5).

Additional coverage of the State of the Union announcement is available from the Associated Press, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, BuzzFeed News, The Hill, Kaiser Health News, New York Magazine, Quartz, Rewire.News, Vox, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Yahoo News.

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