AMHE response to former president Trump statement.
As a medical organization advocating for the welfare of the Haitians living in the US for the past 50 years, the AMHE will not remain indifferent to the misinformation being propagated by former president Donald Trump with the intention to further undermine the progress of Haiti.
On October 7, 2021 on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Show, Trump used his platform as a former president to spread misinformation about Haitian migrants seeking a better life in the US. In his patently false statements, Mr. Trump claimed: “Haiti has a tremendous problem with AIDS. Many of those people probably have AIDS and they are coming to our country. It’s like a death wish.”
According to the UNAIDS, the incidence rate of HIV in Haiti is 1.9%. When translated into concrete numbers, there are approximately 150,000 Haitians living with HIV as of 2020. For comparison, the same UN organization documents that there are 1.2M Americans living with HIV. The rhetoric used by Mr. Trump to foment anti-immigrant fear is not only factually incorrect, it is rooted in deep-seated racism that has underscored US foreign policy towards Haiti since it established its independence as the first independent Black republic in the Americas in 1804. As evidenced by the recent resignation letter of the US special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, the US policy toward Haiti remains deeply flawed.
Since the early 1980s, the AMHE (Haitian Medical Association Abroad) has worked tirelessly with science to disprove the CDC narrative that Haitians were a high-risk group. The CDC came with the concept of 4 H high risk groups (Homosexuals, Heroine users, Hemophiliacs and Haitians). Faced with the scientific evidence presented by Haitian physicians, the CDC was forced to remove the Haitians from the high-risk groups in 1990 and change its policy toward Haitians.
AMHE is committed to changing the narrative around Haitian immigrants while highlighting the significant contribution of the highly qualified Haitian professionals to the healthcare system in the US.
- It is the AMHE position that the Haitians seeking asylum deserve the same services afforded to people from other nations.
October 10, 2021