The press secretary made the false assertion while defending the administration for its omission of LGBTQ people in a World AIDS Day statement.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday falsely attributed the genesis of the towering red ribbon displayed in front of the White House in honor of World AIDS Day to the Trump administration.
McEnany pointed to the two-story ribbon hung from the White House’s North Portico as part of a defense of the Trump administration’s omission of any reference to LGBTQ people in its official statement commemorating World AIDS Day.
“The president honored World AIDS Day yesterday in a way that no president has before, with the red ribbon there, and I think he commemorated the day as he should have,” McEnany told reporters during a press briefing.
The ribbon was first hung in 2007 under former President George W. Bush and has become an annual feature in the years since, including under both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. The idea was the brainchild of Steven Levine, a member of the Bush communications shop, who is gay.
The White House similarly excluded mentioning these LGBTQ groups in the previous three years under Trump. It is a stark departure from Obama, who in his 2016 proclamation noted the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on “gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, black and Latino Americans, people living in the Southern United States, and people who inject drugs.”
The Trump administration has worked to increase religious liberties, often outraging LGBTQ organizations that see the moves as coming at their expense. Trump has rolled back anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ patients implemented during the Obama administration, and earlier this year issued an executive order banning the government from working with contractors that conduct “race or sex stereotyping” — including diversity training.
LGBTQ advocacy groups in November sued to invalidate those restrictions, arguing the order violates their freedom of speech and is overly vague about what conduct is prohibited.
The president has had an up-and-down relationship with the HIV/AIDS community. Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address touted a 10-year plan to wipe out HIV transmission, and CDC director Robert Redfield’s background is in AIDS research. But Trump summarily fired an HIV/AIDS advisory panel without explanation in January 2018, and a full year passed before successors were sworn in.
Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/02/mcenany-trump-white-house-aids-ribbon-442264