President Donald Trump’s tenure is going to be a disaster for health care. Republicans with Trump’s backing have already passed Trumpcare with a very thin majority, removing health insurance for millions of Americans and making it more expensive for the rest.
Trump has also single-handedly raised premiums on existing health insurance plans because of the uncertainty surrounding how he is going to handle the law in 2018.
But now experts have warned that Trump’s budget could also kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people outside of America as well, predominantly on the African continent.
Researchers and advocates have criticized Trump’s proposed budget cuts to research into HIV and AIDS. The U.S. currently spend $6 billion on programs that buy antiretroviral drugs for 11.5 million HIV-positive people across the globe.
Trump wants to slash that budget by nearly a fifth, cutting $1.1 billion from the budget. This is guaranteed to cause deaths as fewer people will have access to lifesaving drugs.
Jen Kates, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation commented, “These are lifesaving interventions, and these levels of reductions will significantly curtail service delivery.”
The State Department attempted to limit the damage caused by this story. The Director of U.S. Foreign Aid Resources, Hari Sastry, said that “We will currently maintain those patients on the treatment.”
However, he failed to mention how this would happen when the budget had been cut by 20 percent.
Recent anti-AIDS efforts in Africa have been a great success thanks to the fact that aid programs, like the one Trump wants to cut, ensure that those who are tested positive for HIV can receive immediate treatment.
Now is not the time to cut back on such programs. A huge proportion of Africa’s very young population is due to reach sexual maturity in the next four years. Cutting back on vital anti-AIDS programs will be devastating.
Treatment not only helps infected people survive but prevents them from spreading the disease.
Most of the funding for programs to combat AIDS come from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as Pepfar, which began in 2004 under President George W. Bush. The program was expanded under President Obama and has been widely credited with helping to slow the AIDS epidemic.
Thankfully programs like these have bipartisan support, and it’s possible that the program might be shielded from Trump’s wrath on Capitol Hill.
Trump’s vindictiveness is unbelievable. It’s a well-known fact he wants to destroy Obama’s legacy, and it appears that he is intent on doing so even at the cost of literally millions of lives. Trump is a madman.
These aren’t the only programs related to sexual health that Trump wants to cut. Trump’s administration has also announced a proposal to eliminate $524 million in funding for contraceptives and family planning efforts for women in developing countries.
Melinda Gates, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, made a statement saying that the cuts “would lead to more unintended pregnancies, more maternal deaths. This budget threatens to trap millions more families in a cycle of poverty.”
It remains unclear exactly how many people would die due to cuts to anti-AIDS programs, but the Global Fund estimates that every $100 million invested saves 133,000 lives. AmfAR have calculated that Trumps cuts will cause one million deaths and orphan 300,000 children.
Their blood and misery are on Trump’s hands.