For the second year in a row, homophobic vice president Mike Pence refused to acknowledge the LGBTQ community in his remarks during the White House's World HIV/AIDS Day event. And as the Democratic National Committee highlighted, Pence also lied repeatedly during his remarks.
Pence — previously faulted with exacerbating an HIV crisis by opposing a needle exchange program when he was Indiana's governor — claimed the Trump administration was doing all it could to battle the scourge of HIV.
"Let me bring greetings from a friend of mine who is a leader committed to the health and well-being of the American people, and has brought new and renewed American commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS here and around the world," Pence said today at the D.C. event. "I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump."
In fact, Trump repeatedly cut funds for HIV prevention and treatment and diverted money from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program to fund his family separation policy at the U.S./Mexico border. Trump also infamously fired the entire 16-member Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and has yet to restaff the group. Trump has also derailed a national HIV strategy by refusing to appoint anyone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. Trump also announced a "Deploy or Get Out" rule, which could translate to HIV-positive service members kicked out of the military.
Without irony, Pency also honored the 15th anniversary of PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), which works to address AIDS in developing nations, mostly in Africa. Pence's boss cut funding for PEPFAR; The Daily Beast reported those cuts could lead to the deaths of 300,000 people a year.