"Will the administration appoint new members who bring philosophies and practices rooted in evidence based approaches that empowers and centers communities?" said Maldonado as he reflected upon what has happened.
All of the fired PACHA council members had been appointed by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Cecilia Chung, an Obama-era appointee who left voluntarily after her term expired earlier this year, echoed these concerns.
Almost a year into Trump's presidency, the White House has yet to appoint a director of the Office of National AIDS Policy.
This follows six of the council members resigning from their positions in June, citing Trump's regressive legislation and inaction on the global HIV/AIDS crisis as the reasons in an open letter to Newsweek. "No respect for their service", Schoettes tweeted. Fangerous that #Trump and Co. "(Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed".
Created in 1995, PACHA has provided advice starting in the Clinton administration and into the George W. Bush and Obama administrations on policy and research to promote effective treatment and prevention for HIV - maintaining the goal of finding a cure.
But it's also not unusual for an administration to clear out the previous administration's appointees like this.
All 16 remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS were fired earlier this week. "And a lot of those key vulnerable populations are not being prioritized in this administration".
The PACHA website, which says it was updated December 28, now shows only two staff; all council members photos and bios were removed. Coming six months after the resignations, the firings are "a little too coincidental", he added. "One of our recommendations was to endorse the national HIV/AIDS strategy, which was developed by the Obama administration ... but reflected the work of a very diverse group of people". "In the fact of CDC projections that 1 in 2 black gay men and 1 in 13 D.C. residents will become HIV-positive within their lifetimes, it is unconscionable that we would have a President that would not only propose massive cuts to HIV programs but would also remove the entire PACHA membership".
The White House didn't immediately respond to a request to comment Thursday evening on the terminations.
The Trump administration has been publicly supportive of efforts to combat the HIV and AIDS epidemic, releasing public statements on National HIV Testing Day and on World AIDS Day. Read the full Washington Blade article, here.