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Tags: jerome adams | surgeon general | murthy | inauguration

Adams Agrees to Biden Request to Step Down as Surgeon General on Inauguration Day

jerome adams in uniform speaking in the wh press room
Jerome Adams (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 01:34 PM EST

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Wednesday he’d been asked to step down as the new Biden administration aims to reboot the federal government’s coronavirus pandemic response.

In a tweet, Adams said it’s “been the honor of my life to serve this Nation, and I will do all I can to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve and maintain health.”

In a statement he posted on Facebook, Adams noted the challenges COVID-19 presented during his tenure.

“In the face of a once in a century pandemic, I sought to communicate the rapidly evolving science on this deadly adversary, and arm people with the knowledge and tools they needed to stay safe,” he wrote.

“I wasn’t always right- because no one was, and this virus continues to humble all of us- but I was always sincere in my efforts to speak to every day Americans, and address the terrible health inequities this virus exposed.”

The request that he step down was first reported by The Washington Post. The Deputy Surgeon General Erica Schwartz was also bypassed for an interim role.

An anesthesiologist and former Indiana health commissioner, Adams was confirmed in September 2017 to serve a four-year term as surgeon general — becoming just the second African American to fill the post. But he came under criticism from Democrats, who said he didn't do enough to push back against former President Donald Trump's efforts to downplay the pandemic, Politico noted. 

His Inauguration Day ouster cuts his tenure short by about six months and could leave President Joe Biden without a permanent surgeon general for weeks; his nominee for the role, Vivek Murthy, who previously held the job during the Obama administration, is awaiting scheduling of his Senate confirmation hearings.

Trump had similarly dismissed Murthy as surgeon general shortly into his term, after Murthy had served in the role for just over two years. The move angered Democrats at the time, who contended that the role should remain free of politics, Politico reported.

According to Politico, Murthy was deeply involved in crafting his COVID-19 plans, and has been briefing Biden on the virus multiple times each week since the early months of the pandemic.

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Politics
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Wednesday he'd been asked to step down as the new Biden administration aims to reboot the federal government's coronavirus pandemic response. In a tweet, Adams said it's "been the honor of my life to serve this Nation, and I will do all I...
jerome adams, surgeon general, murthy, inauguration
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2021-34-20
Wednesday, 20 January 2021 01:34 PM
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