Clinton Releases New, Expanded AIDS-Free Generation Plan, Backs HIV-Preventing Drugs, Targets Stigma
Clinton Campaign Releases Detailed Plan to ‘Tackle HIV and AIDS Together’ â€“ Calls for Expanded Utilization of PrEP
Hillary Clintonâ€™s campaign WednesdayÂ releasedÂ its detailed plan for an AIDS-free generation, calling it â€œwithin our reach.â€
The plan details the importance of expanding critical programs such as the Presidentâ€™s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), strengthening the Obama Administrationâ€™s National HIV/AIDS Strategy, partnering with advocacy groups for public education, expanding the utilization of HIV-prevention medication and fighting drug addiction.
Clinton, who also worked to fight HIV/AIDS both as a U.S. Senator and asÂ Secretary of State (photo),Â also plans to expand the countryâ€™s investment in research to accelerate progress, using programs like PEPFAR to ensure that â€œsignificant study questions related to HIV and AIDS are identified, funded and answered.â€ The plan also calls for the expanded utilization of HIV prevention medications such asÂ PrEP, which it calls a â€œpromising innovation.â€
â€œThe AIDS crisis in America began as a quiet, deadly epidemic,â€ the statement accompanying the plan reads, â€œand because of discrimination and disregard, it remained that way for far too long. When many in positions of power turned a blind eye, health care providers, activists, scientists, and ordinary, heroic people fought with courage and compassion for a nation commitment to address the disease.â€
The statement cites the efforts of these individuals for the many breakthroughs in treatment and prevention, but cautions that â€œHIV and AIDS are still with us.â€ According to aids.gov, over 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, with one out of eight people unaware of it, and the World Health Organization reports that 36.7 million people were living with HIV and AIDS worldwide in 2015. â€œHillary Clinton,â€ the statement continues, â€œbelieves we have to tackle this work together.â€
Doing so, according the plan, includes convening groups to adopt â€œaggressive and attainable timelines for ending AIDS.â€ It credits the Obama Administrationâ€™s National HIV/AIDS Strategy as â€œan important roadmap in our march against an AIDS-free generation in the United States,â€ and vows to strengthen it to align with the timelines developed by experts and advocates.
Under Clintonâ€™s plan, the Affordable Care Act will also be defended and expanded upon. It is credited as having ensured â€œinsurance companies [could] no longer deny coverage based on a pre-existing HIV diagnoses,â€ and requiring health insurance plans to â€œcover lab tests, preventative services such as HIV screenings, and chronic disease management tools.â€
It continues that, â€œClinton will place particular emphasis on expanding evidenced-based prevention, treatment, and community outreach initiatives for at-risk groups, including black men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender individuals, African American women, and injection drug users.â€ Â
The emphasis includes a $10 billion initiative to combat drug addiction, which the plan calls â€œa national epidemic that our nation is failing to addressâ€ that is connected with the HIV and AIDS epidemic. The partnership between local, state and federal government, the plan says, will further help to prevent and treat addiction.
The full plan can be read here, and further details the campaignâ€™s intention to partner with advocacy groups for public education in the United States and abroad, working to reform the HIV criminalization laws and end stigma and discrimination.
Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trumpâ€™s website currently offers only seven campaign positions, none of which include policies on HIV or AIDS. (The Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, however, has made his stance on the matter quite clear.)
Daniel Driffin, the first gay man living with HIV to address a national party convention in 12 years, made his own position clear last week at the Democratic National Convention. â€œWe know how to prevent the virus now. We know how to diagnose the virus now. We know how to treat it and we know how to suppress itâ€¦ What do we do to fight HIV/AIDS today?â€
â€œWe invest in research and education. Expand treatment and prevention,â€ he continued. â€œAnd we elect Hillary Clinton.â€
The full video can be seen below:
Image: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a speech about HIV/AIDS at the National Institutes of Health, November 2011
Photo by NIH Image GalleryÂ via Flickr and a CC licenseÂ
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Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case
Joe Harding, the now-former Florida Republican lawmaker who authored the extremist “Don’t Say Gay” bill could face up to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday afternoon to federal felony fraud charges in a scheme to obtain $150,000 in COVID-19 relief funds, according to Florida Politics‘ publisher Peter Scorsch.
Harding, 35, was a construction project manager who started his own lawn care company. He quickly became a right-wing darling after his anti-LGBTQ legislation, officially the Parental Rights in Education Act, was embraced by Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, who signed it into law.
Harding was charged in a December federal indictment with six counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in his plot to obtain $150,000 in COVID funds.He resigned from the legislature the following day. He originally pled not guilty.
READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter
After Harding was charged and resigned, Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded via social media, saying: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”
Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.
“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics reported in December. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”
Unrepentant to the harm many feel he has done to children and the LGBTQ community, in a statement Tuesday Harding said: “During the past legislative session I have felt the support of millions of Americans while fighting for our shared concerns and for the rights of parents. I will never forget the support I received from every corner of this great country.”
READ MORE: 18 Attorneys General Blast Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law as Unconstitutional
Harding will be sentenced in July.
Florida’s Voice also reported Harding’s guilty plea Tuesday.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter
Ahead of a possible indictment of Donald Trump, law enforcement agencies are investigating “chilling” threats, including against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, according to top Washington Post investigative reporter Carol Leonnig.
Leonnig was careful to say she is not aware of any of the threats being deemed credible, but also noted that “all sorts of law enforcement agencies” seem to be taking much more interest than some agencies did in the weeks before the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
“I have received copies and screenshots and internal documents and emails flagging concerns about specific protests, investigations into specific online threats that have been made that are not yet determined to be ‘credible and likely to occur’ but have been chilling nonetheless in terms of the threats that have been made about killing certain people,” Leonning, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” White House.”
“Claims of, you know, ‘Alvin Bragg needs to needs to die,’ and claims online that could just be, you know, bravado, but are being seriously investigated and checked into this time around, ones that were not checked into as clearly at all in the weeks before January 6, despite significant warnings to the FBI about what these threats meant.”
Mirroring Leonnig’s reporting, Rolling Stone, citing law enforcement reports, on Tuesday noted: “Violent extremists are advocating lethal attacks and proclaiming their willingness to die for the cause.”
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“U.S. Capitol Police, the D.C. Fusion Center, and the Federal Highway Administration have all circulated warnings about the uptick in online threats over the past 48 hours. The bulletins and threat assessments detail some of the online threats and discussions about the use of specific tactics and methods for carrying out attacks — including online discussions about lethal attacks if Trump is arrested.”
On Saturday in an explosive series of social media posts Donald Trump urged his supporters to “protest” and “take our nation back.”
That “announcement was met with an immediate increase in violent online rhetoric and expressed threats toward government and law enforcement targets perceived as participating in a political persecution of the former president, as well as calls for ‘Civil War’ more generally.”
The DC Fusion Center, which analyzes threats, in a report stated it “assesses that potential criminal justice actions taken toward a former US president — or actions perceived to be taken toward the former president — remain a ‘line in the sand’ for [Domestic Violent Extremist] communities and thus have the potential to manifest in violence toward government targets or political officials,” Rolling Stone added.
Missouri Supreme Court Refuses to Disbar Lawyer Who Sexually Assaulted Six Women: Report
An 86-year old defense attorney will be allowed to keep his law license after the Missouri Supreme Court in a 4-3 ruling refused to disbar him despite having sexually assaulted six of his clients, all women.
Attorney Dan K. Purdy will be “indefinitely suspended from practicing law but allowed to apply for reinstatement after a year,” The Kansas City Star reports.
“In September 2020, Purdy made sexual advances toward four clients in a Vernon County jail interview room, including touching and kissing, that were confirmed by video provided by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office,” The Star reports. “Each woman was later interviewed by officers and told them Purdy’s advances were unwanted.”
In addition to jail interview roos, Purdy’s sexual advances took place in court and in his car. All were locations where his clients might have felt uncomfortable to complain.
READ MORE: Trump Calls for Congress to Investigate NY AG After Judge Refuses to Delay $250 Million Fraud Trial Against Ex-President
“Purdy’s clients either did not know or did not realize they could repudiate his sexual advances,” Justice George W. Draper III wrote in the majority opinion.
There are seven justices on the Missouri Supreme Court, four appointed by Republican governors, three by Democratic governors. Four are men, three are women.
The ruling was not along party lines.
“In my view, neither the race, gender, ethnicity, nor age of an attorney should be taken into consideration to determine appropriate discipline,” wrote Justice Zel M. Fischer in his dissent. “In my view, Mr. Purdy’s conduct, which was clearly and explicitly depicted in the video evidence, warrants disbarment.”
“As recognized by the principal opinion, not only did Mr. Purdy sexually assault six female clients, he ‘exhibited a continued pattern or practice of improper and disturbing conduct, which continued, even after the present case was filed against him,'” Fischer noted. [Bolding in original text.]
Image of Missouri Supreme Court via Wikimedia
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