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.
Pence's record on HIV/AIDS is monstrous: his policies led to the worst outbreak of HIV in Indiana history. That was… https://t.co/2PhByf8xhw— Sarah Kendzior (@Sarah Kendzior)1549296080.0
Tonight Trump called on Congress to help end HIV transmissions in ten years. A reminder that Mike Pence fueled an… https://t.co/r7wZPLtubF— Jennifer Bendery (@Jennifer Bendery)1549422948.0
@sarahkendzior Despise doesn't even cover what I think of Pence. He all but murdered citizens in Scott County becau… https://t.co/65b9JMIS3p— RowzizRowz (@RowzizRowz)1549298083.0
Trump says he’s going to defeat AIDS with Pence over his shoulder, who defunded Planned Parenthood in Indiana and w… https://t.co/iLfwGsamsl— Laura Bassett (@Laura Bassett)1549422003.0
People called out the administration's hypocrisy.
I am not a pessimist, but I am not a fool. There will still be people all over the world dying from HIV and AIDS in… https://t.co/VGZNUKdbKC— Jamil Smith (@Jamil Smith)1549422316.0
That HIV/AIDS line would be a bit more convincing without Pence over his shoulder.— Alex C. Lange, Ph.D. (@Alex C. Lange, Ph.D.)1549422022.0
@JamilSmith Mike Pence caused HIV to skyrocket in Indiana & Trump has unprotected sex with every woman he's able to… https://t.co/xG3S1FrVLF— Author Sasha Strachan (@Author Sasha Strachan)1549423772.0
Hard to take the president seriously about eradicating the transmission of HIV when less than 6 months ago he yanke… https://t.co/PZL6L89BYx— Senator Jeff Merkley (@Senator Jeff Merkley)1549421871.0
@LEBassett @igorvolsky This administration has systematically tried to cut funding to all #HIV and #AIDS programs i… https://t.co/CPYpfZxxTQ— F. Quick (@F. Quick)1549422248.0
December 2017: Trump administration fires all members of HIV/AIDS advisory council https://t.co/lNx26dM3DI— Garance Franke-Ruta (@Garance Franke-Ruta)1549422208.0
This user was stumped over Pence's physical endorsement of Trump's commitment.
WHY IS MIKE PENCE STANDING AND APPLAUDING ELIMINATING HIV/AIDS? https://t.co/TKLbdnHUtj— Jamie McCarty (@Jamie McCarty)1549421964.0
President Donald Trump shakes hands with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, beside Vice President Mike Pence after deliver… https://t.co/sFgGyPs6jE— Al Drago (@Al Drago)1549427048.0
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.