WASHINGTON — According to published reports, President Trump has asked Ambassador Deborah Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and the head of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, to remain at her post while her successor is identified. The ONE Campaign — the global policy and advocacy organization cofounded by Bono to fight to end extreme poverty and stop the spread of preventable diseases, like AIDS — applauded the decision.
Tom Hart, executive director for North America at ONE, said:
“The importance of America’s leadership to the global fight against AIDS is difficult to overstate. The fact is: this is a critical time in that fight, especially for adolescent girls, who comprise three-quarters of all new infections in Africa. We’re in a make-or-break window, and we can’t afford to let up — not even during a presidential transition. Global AIDS Coordinator is a position that should not be left vacant for a month, a week, or even a day.
“ONE applauds President Trump’s decision — and the efforts of Vice President Pence and Ivanka Trump — to retain Ambassador Birx as the Global AIDS Coordinator until her successor can be found. America’s commitment to the global fight against AIDS has long transcended partisanship, and it’s a relief that the transition will not disrupt PEPFAR’s transformative life-saving work. Ambassador Birx has served admirably these last three years, and is deserving of the trust President Trump has placed in her.”