Trump Just Falsely Claimed That an “AIDS Vaccine” Exists

According to the POTUS, the researchers developing a COVID-19 vaccine also "[came up] with the AIDS vaccine."

Another day, another moment of (un)stable genius from the president of the United States.

In a news briefing this Tuesday, June 16, President Donald Trump took a moment to praise medical researchers developing a vaccine for COVID-19 amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. According to Trump, they’re “the best, the smartest, the most brilliant [people] anywhere”—and the same people who’ve “come up with the AIDS vaccine.”

“They’ve come up with… the therapeutic for AIDS,” he rambled on. “AIDS was a death sentence, and now people live a life with a pill. It’s an incredible thing.”

There’s only one problem: There is no vaccine for AIDS or HIV.

As NewNowNext has reported at length, the global fight to end the spread of HIV/AIDS is very much an ongoing battle.

Though modern medicine has made significant advancements in the fight against the virus—including widespread use of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a preventative drug that reduces the risk of HIV infection when used correctly; effective treatment regimens for people living with HIV/AIDS; and three patients reportedly being “cured” of HIV via cancer-related bone marrow transplants—an “AIDS vaccine” simply does not exist. Any evidence to the contrary is false, even if it comes from the mouth of the POTUS.

What’s more, these potentially life-saving preventative drug regimens and treatment options can be prohibitively expensive, meaning those who need it most are sometimes unable to access HIV/AIDS-related health care.

The glaring inaccuracy in Trump’s speech was quickly pointed out by Twitter users, including writer-podcaster Dan Savage, HRC alum Charlotte Clymer, and ACT UP NYC, the famously militant activist collective founded by the late Larry Kramer during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

The misinformation is hardly a surprise from Trump, whose distinctly anti-LGBTQ track record isn’t news to anyone who’s LGBTQ or HIV-positive.

As NewNowNext reported back in February, the president chose Vice President Mike Pence to spearhead his federal coronavirus task force—a move that sparked criticism from queer advocates given Pence’s infamously poor handling of an HIV/AIDS outbreak as governor of Indiana.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella