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Trump Said He Wants To 'Defeat AIDS' In His State Of The Union Speech—And Everyone Is Skeptical For The Same Reason

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, @itsAlexCL/Twitter

Donald Trump made a bold proclamation that he will end the HIV epidemic by 2030 during Tuesday's State of the Union address.

The 10-year strategy aims to reduce HIV transmissions by 75% in the first five years and would increase to 90% in ten years.

Trump's plan will fund "geographic hot spots" in the United States, which consist of 48 counties, Washington, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"In recent years we have made remarkable progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Scientific breakthroughs have brought a once-distant dream within reach," Trump said in his SOTU speech.

The president called for a bipartisan endeavor to call an end to AIDS:

"My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years. Together, we will defeat AIDS in America."

While the call for unity did not go unnoticed, the online community was all abuzz over Trump's resolute commitment with Mike Pence sitting behind the President inside the Capitol chamber.

In 2015, during Indiana's HIV outbreak crisis as a result of opioid addicts sharing needles, then-Governor Pence was resistant to lifting the ban on needle exchange programs despite public health experts insisting that reversing the state's ban would prevent the spread of diseases.

Pence eventually caved and allowed for a partial ban, but critics said it did little to finance cash-strapped counties. The epidemic was made worse with Pence's prolonged uncertainty.

The internet didn't forget.

People called out the administration's hypocrisy.

This user was stumped over Pence's physical endorsement of Trump's commitment.

Health experts lauded Trump's announcement, but remained impartial.

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot issued a statement on Wednesday expressing his cautious optimism:

"President Trump's pledge to end the HIV epidemic within 10 years is encouraging, but it is difficult to reconcile this statement with his administration's systematic assault on the HIV community -- including undermining access to affordable health insurance and HIV drugs; cutting funds for HIV research; and attacking LGBTQ+ people."

America will be keeping a close eye on the development of this ambitious commitment.

Fingers crossed.


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