Longtime newsman and television anchor Dan Rather brings a calming presence to the country. In his tweet, Rather noted that Donald Trump had cheered the news of a second HIV patient being cured. Yet, the newsman was able to educate this president and the whole country in just a sentence or two — which is what makes Rather great.
The first HIV patient was cured twelve years ago. What the two people had in common was that they both had cancer and received bone marrow transplants in hopes of curing the cancer. The donor had HIV resistant DNA in both cases. That opened up and entirely new arm of research.
Rather tweeted that “Science isn’t a goal, it’s a process of knowledge:”
‘Many people including the president are cheering news of HIV cure in 2nd patient. You know what happened? SCIENCE. Science isn’t a goal, it’s a process of knowledge. And it applies to vaccines, climate change, and the wonder of understanding our universe and natural world.’
The blog AIDS United posted an article talking about the terrible cuts to AIDS research under this administration. Just last December, Trump’s people cut research funding once again due to the influence from the GOP’s far right:
Trump cut the funding for HIV cure research, because GOP members resisted stem cell research, according to AIDS United:
‘Last week, the Trump administration enacted yet another cut to HIV/AIDS funding, this time targeting research: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Washington Post reported, would no longer financially support a research lab in California working to move us closer to an HIV cure or vaccine. Anti-choice proponents, who are enjoying more influence than in recent years because of allies in Congress and the White House, sought to end this and other NIH contracts because of their concerns about the use of fetal tissue, collected from elective abortions, in the research.’
Then, the article went on to explain how that research worked:
‘The lab at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) has produced prominent research in the history of the HIV epidemic: as the Post writes, “Almost every drug for treating or preventing HIV infection has been tested at the UCSF laboratory and an affiliate.” The researchers do so by using fetal tissue of a thymus gland – which produces T cells that protect against HIV replicating in the body – to grow the same gland inside mice to test various chemical compounds that later become HIV prevention or management drugs.’
Advocates for AIDS/HIV urged “federal agency heads and lawmakers to reconsider:”
‘Anti-choice advocates have successfully encouraged federal agency heads and lawmakers to reconsider the well established research practice of using fetal tissue; the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in September that it would review all such contracts, and the UCSF lab is not the first affected by these policy shifts. A smaller contract with a nonprofit called Advanced Bioscience Resources was ended earlier this year due to their work with fetal tissue. While HHS contends that no final decisions have been made writ large about the use of fetal tissue in federally funded research, the abrupt ending of these contracts – particularly the multimillion dollar one with the UCSF lab – worries health and science advocates, despite HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir’s assertion that Trump’s is a “pro-life, pro-science administration.”
Twitter world was thrilled. Check out some of our favorite tweets below:
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.