Believing that President Trump is not doing enough to address the "ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic," six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) have resigned.
Speaking on behalf of five of his colleagues, Scott Schoettes, counsel and HIV project director at Lambda Legal, shared in a Newsweek op-ed the reasons why they could no longer remain members of the council, formed by former President Bill Clinton in 1995. Trump has no strategy, Schoettes said, hasn't asked for input on formulating HIV policy, removed the Office of National AIDS Policy website, and has not appointed anyone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
"Because we do not believe the Trump administration is listening to — or cares — about the communities we serve as members of PACHA, we have decided it is time to step down," Schoettes wrote. "We will be more effective from the outside, advocating for change and protesting policies that will hurt the health of the communities we serve and the country as a whole if this administration continues down the current path." The council is made up of doctors, legal experts, scientists, advocates, public health officials, faith leaders, and academics, and there were 18 members before the resignation of Schoettes, Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses W. Burley III, Michelle Ogle, and Grissel Granados. Catherine Garcia
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Michelle Lee, the first woman to ever hold the position, resigned on Tuesday.
Lee was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2014, and after the 2016 presidential election, she announced she was "open" to staying on. It was unclear for several months if Lee, the former head of Google's patent practice, was still director; the Patent Office finally confirmed in March that Lee remained in the post. There was no reason given for Lee's resignation, nor an announcement on who might serve as acting director.
"We thank Michelle Lee for her service to her country and to the Department of Commerce," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Politico in a statement. "As the first woman in our country's history to serve as director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Michelle has worked tirelessly to serve our stakeholders and the American public. We wish her well in her next endeavor." In April, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other tech companies sent President Trump a letter urging him to keep Lee as director. Catherine Garcia