Statement in Response to President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union Address

Jessica Bassett: +1 347-263-8438 x111|

On Ending the AIDS Epidemic: 

“President Trump took a victory lap tonight for his year-old plan to end the domestic HIV epidemic, but his record deserves no praise. Three years into the job, Trump still has not articulated a plan to end AIDS globally and his administration continues to promote cruel policies that hurt people living with HIV around the world. Meanwhile, Trump’s own domestic policy agenda is at odds with his effort to end the epidemic in the U.S.

“In just the last week, the Trump administration moved forward with plans to implement Medicaid block grants that will disproportionately harm people with HIV and those at greatest risk of acquiring HIV. He has called for deadly cuts to the budgets of life-saving global AIDS programs. His trade deals carry water for big pharma. Instead of cutting the cost of PrEP in the U.S. from $2,000 per month through authorizing generic competition, his administration created a $6 million sweetheart drug distribution deal for Gilead. His discriminatory policies against LGBTQ+ people and against women make it harder to access healthcare. And people living with HIV are dying in detention centers at the border because they are denied life-saving medicines and healthcare.

“Trump’s policy agenda is cruel, not based on evidence, and poses special risks to the health of people with HIV, poor people, LGBTQ+ people, women, and people of color, while creating giant taxpayer-funded giveaways for big pharma and private insurance companies. You’ll forgive us for holding our applause.”


On Drug Pricing: 

“Trump’s claim that drug prices have come down for the first time in 51 years is false. People are fed up with our deeply broken system of drug pricing that helps big pharmaceutical corporations get richer while people get sicker. A real plan to lower drug prices would confront the outsize power that pharmaceutical corporations have over our health. Drug prices at home and abroad won’t come down without decisive moves such as eroding drug company monopolies by enabling generic competition. Skyrocketing drug prices under Trump show his unquestioning fealty to big pharma.”

On Fighting Pandemics:

“Trump’s 15 second line claiming he will do ‘whatever is needed’ to respond to the  2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak is out of step with reality. Real leadership would mean responding to pandemic threats with increased funding and evidence based policies needed to save lives, defeat pandemics of today, and prevent future outbreaks.”