Debunking Pompeo’s budget testimony on AIDS cuts

There’s a clear divide between the White House’s proposed budget cuts to global AIDS programs and the White House’s rhetoric. Testifying today before the House Appropriations Committee on President Trump’s FY20 budget request, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “we’re going to succeed” in the fight against AIDS. While Secretary Pompeo’s rhetoric is consistent with President Trump’s pledge to “defeat AIDS in America and beyond,” it is inconsistent with the reality of this Administration’s own budget which contains massive cuts to global AIDS programs.

It’s pretty simple. We can’t “succeed” and end the AIDS crisis by cutting programs proven to fight the disease. President Trump’s budget would slash funding for global AIDS programs, including PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Consider:

  • The President’s FY20 budget includes 30% less than what is needed to continue America’s historic support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The budget requests $1.1 billion for FY20, falling far short of the $1.56 billion needed to ensure the Global Fund meets its replenishment targets. The President’s budget also proposes watering down the historic commitment to match $1 for every $2 provided by other donors to a $1 for every $3 commitment, decreasing the leveraging power of taxpayer dollars.
  • The President’s FY20 budget includes a 22% cut to PEPFAR. The president’s budget calls for $3.4 billion for PEPFAR, the FY19 enacted was $3.85 billion.

WATCH THE EXCHANGE HERE

According to Friends of the Global Fight, if enacted, the President’s budget shortfall for the Global Fund would mean 874,000 fewer people would receive antiretroviral therapy, 621,000 fewer people would receive TB care and treatment and 24 million fewer mosquito nets would be distributed to protect children and families from malaria. That’s why it’s so important for Congress to send a powerful message by supporting full funding for the Global Fund, which would help save 16 million more lives by 2023 and cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB, and malaria in half.

For more information or to speak with an expert about this issue, contact Sean Simons at [email protected]