President Trump famously asked Africans Americans during the 2016 presidential campaign, “What the hell do you have to lose?” African Americans have been the most consistent voting block for the Democrat Party for well over 50 years with very little to show for that loyalty.
I believe there are two reasons why African American voters overwhelmingly (90%+) cast their ballots for the Jackass Party. One is the misconception held by many Democrats that the Republican Party is the party of wealthy elites and the business class and the Democrats are for the so-called working class “little guy.”
Second, and the most troublesome for me, is the misconception that the Republican Party doesn’t care about African Americans or their interests. President Trump has proven that wrong simply by the outstanding economy he has presided over that has produced the lowest African American unemployment rate in history.
In two and a half years, President Trump has signed criminal justice reform into law and has strengthened Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with additional funding. The President has initiated, through Housing and Urban Development (HUD), so-called “Opportunity Zones” in distressed communities to spur economic growth and job opportunities.
The AIDS epidemic has been particularly devastating to the African American community’s well being. According to HIV.gov:
“In 2017, Blacks/African Americans accounted for 13% of the U.S. population but 43% (16,694) of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas. Black/African American gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are more affected by HIV than any other group in the United States.”
President Trump has made combating the AIDS Epidemic a central part of his domestic agenda. The President announced in the State of the Union Address earlier this year that his administration has the goal of wiping out the AIDS Epidemic in the United States by 2030.
One Missouri lawmaker has taken it upon herself to advance the President’s agenda in the American heartland by sponsoring state legislation specifically called for by the President.
In a recent press release, Missouri State Representative Holly Rehder explained, “I strongly believe in President Trump’s agenda to Make America Healthy Again and look forward to working hard to implement that agenda here in Missouri during the 2020 legislative session.”
The legislation Representative Rehder is sponsoring aims at updating the state’s HIV laws in order to have them comply with more modern scientific research. The original laws were implemented in the 1980s and 1990s, when research on HIV/AIDS was not as thorough or accurate as it is today.
She hopes that the changes to the law will also remove the current incentive for a person to not get tested for HIV or other diseases.
Additionally, Representative Rehder is sponsoring legislation to implement syringe access programs across the state. These programs allow organizations to provide sterile needles, as well as treatment resources and referrals, to drug users.
The aim is to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in drug users, who are at risk of using and sharing infected needles. The Trump Administration has challenged states to adopt such programs to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The Trump Administration has set its goals to decrease the number of new HIV infections by 75% within the next 5 years, and to further reduce the number of new HIV infections by 90% by the year 2030. Missouri currently has 13 counties on the CDC top 5% watch list for outbreaks.
President Trump called this push a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to end the HIV epidemic in the United States.” Representative Rehder remains optimistic about her legislation’s chance of making it into law, calling it “a win-win for the state and country.”
“I know a lot of Missouri lawmakers take their lead from the President, and I am thrilled to be helping him implement his agenda in the heartland,” said Representative Rehder, “I applaud President Trump’s leadership on these important issues.”
The Missouri Legislative Session lasts from January through mid-May. The Legislation will need to pass by a majority in both the House and the Senate, and then must be signed into law by the governor before the 2020 Session ends.