The letter from the Free Speech Coalition comes after recently released footage of Bill Gates revealed his claim that Trump had asked him in two previous meetings to explain the difference between the two viruses.
“We understand that science is hard, and certainly a challenging concept for people who do not believe in facts,” the letter reads. “However, your willingness to acknowledge your own ignorance is the first step in the learning process – so please be proud of your progress! There is no such thing as a silly question when it is coming from someone with direct access to nearly half the world’s nuclear arsenal.”
The group noted in the letter that while the acronyms for both viruses are similar and that both can be spread by sexual activity, “that’s pretty much where the similarities end.”
The letter goes on to explain the differences between the two viruses, as well as other conditions with similar acronyms like herpes simplex virus (HSV) and Hepatitis B (HBV).
The group also encouraged Trump to take action to prevent deaths related to HIV and HPV and to sign into law a bill to support comprehensive sexual health education.
“You have the power, and now the information, to make these things better,” the letter states.
Footage obtained by MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” aired earlier this week shows Gates describing how Trump had asked him to clarify the difference between HIV and HPV during two separate meetings.
“So I was able to explain that those were rarely confused with each other,” Gates says in the video.