Wednesday, February 6, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He helped spread HIV.

One of the least controversial proposals Trump unveiled at last night's address to Congress was a call to fight HIV infection:

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. 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.

The only criticism of this line in Trump's speech was that he offered no specific steps to accomplish this goal than a reference to the budget—and that nothing so far in Trump's presidency suggested he'd be willing to take the necessary steps.

Today, the Trump administration announced it was filing a lawsuit to prevent the opening of a safe drug injection site in Philadelphia. Such facilities allow for intravenous drug users—which include those addicted to opioids—to inject drugs using clean needles and under the supervision of medical professionals who can provide counseling and intervene in the case of overdose.

By law, the federal government tolerates, and even funds, needle exchange sites because dirty needles are a major risk factor for the transmission of HIV and other diseases.

Why should I care about this?

  • There's no point in a president announcing a policy he doesn't intend to enact.