Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to resign on Tuesday, The Hill reports.
The Democrat lawmaker from New York alleged from the Senate floor that Azar has neglected to stand up to President Donald Trump in his coronavirus response.
"It has become abundantly clear that the leadership of the Department of Health and Human Services has allowed perhaps the most important federal agency right now to become subservient to the president's daily whims," Schumer said. "So today, I am calling on Secretary Azar to resign immediately. We need a secretary of health and human services who will look out for the American people, not President Trump's political interests."
According to The Hill, Schumer’s call for Azar to step down comes during a series of controversies at the department.
A New York Times report on Monday detailed claims made by Michael Caputo, a top HHS official, who said government scientists are plotting against the president. Another report issued by Politico highlighted allegations that Caputo and his communications team have tried to edit scientific reports on the virus issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition, Trump has put pressure on the Food and Drug Administration to speed up the approval process for coronavirus treatments and vaccines. He has claimed that the "deep state" at the agency is purposely slowing the approval process down.
Schumer called out Azar for remaining quiet on the recent allegations and reports. He ripped him for not standing up for scientists in his department.
"The secretary of health and human services, Alex Azar, has not only failed to push back against these outrageous moves by President Trump, he's been almost entirely silent about the chaos and mismanagement in his own agency," Schumer said.
Schumer isn’t the only one who is asking for people in the department to be removed from their roles.
On Monday, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., asked Azar to fire Caputo.
"As the leader of our nation’s health department during a pandemic that has claimed more than 190,000 American lives, Secretary Azar has a basic responsibility to ensure our public health experts are able to do their jobs, our COVID-19 response is not undermined by misinformation or conspiracy theories, and the data used to inform our efforts is free of political interference," Murray said.
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