Trump Halts Research Into Cure for HIV: Dec 14 Debrief

Trump Halts Research Into Cure for HIV: Dec 14 Debrief

February 21, 2020 19 By Jose Scott


The Trump administration just blocked research
into a possible cure for HIV. Officials in Bermuda and Brazil are seeking
new ways to prevent LGBTQ equality, but there’s good news on the horizon in Botswana and Taiwan. And as the year comes to a close, we’re
looking ahead to LGBTQ advances and red flags in 2019. We’ll have the week’s top LGBTQ news & how
it affects you on Weekly Debrief. Weekly Debrief is made possible by everyone
who pledges a dollar or more a month on Patreon. Head over to patreon.com/mattbaume or click
the link in the description to check out the rewards available to backers. Researchers in Montana have identified a way
that HIV might be prevented from taking hold in the body. They were due to begin trials of a new antibody
this fall — but it’s just come to light that the Department of Health and Human services
has put an end to that research, because it involved embryo tissue. Even though the tissue was obtained legally
through abortions, that’s apparently too much for this administration, and used that
as justification for shutting the study down. HHS claims that this is just a “pause”
in the research. But you can’t just freeze medical studies
like this and then pick up exactly where you left off. Even if the study was allowed to go ahead,
it would take at least a year to get back to where it was when the administration stopped
it. And in the meantime, more people will suffer,
waiting for a cure. In Brazil, newly installed fascist president
Jair Bolsonaro is shutting down the country’s human rights ministry. In its place will be a new office, run by
a national religious figure, that will monitor minorities and LGBTQ folks. And the government of Bermuda is pursuing
a last-ditch effort to block marriage equality. It’s likely to fail, but it means more months
of delays before citizens can get equal rights. Botswana has set a date for a hearing to end
the country’s criminalization of homosexuality. Mark your calendar for March of 2019 for that. Also in March, Taiwan is expected to introduce
a marriage equality bill at long last. Although voters there rejected equal rights
for LGBTQ citizens, legislators are forging ahead with reforms that would make Taiwan
the first country in Asia with the freedom to marry. And finally, civil rights groups are looking
ahead to likely LGBTQ legislation in the US in 2019. New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida are
likely to see debate on non-discrimination measures. And lawmakers in Georgia and Texas will probably
introduce turn-away-the-gays and bathroom bills. Again. Among the groups monitoring possible legislation
is Freedom for All Americans. This week’s action item is to connect with
them at FreedomForAllAmericans.org. There’s a litigation tracker there to keep
you informed, and you can sign up for crucial updates. As always, let me know about stories that
need covering @mattbaume on Twitter and in the YouTube comments. Thanks to everyone who makes Weekly Debrief
possible with a pledge of a dollar or more a month on Patreon. Head over to Patreon.com/mattbaume or click
the link in the description to check out rewards for backers. And I’ll have an announcement soon about
some changes for Weekly Debrief in 2019. But for now, I’ll debrief you next week.