Surgeon General Adams steps down at Biden’s request

'Thank you for the opportunity to serve this great Nation, as this has been the honor of my life,' Adams wrote in a resignation post.

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U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams resigned at the request of newly sworn in President Joe Biden as he is set to begin a new administration.

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According to The Washington Post, Biden planned to ask Adams to step down from his position. The President has nominated Vivek H. Murthy as the new Surgeon General. Murthy held the position under former President Barack Obama and remained a close advisor to President Biden. According to the report, the decision to hire Murthy moved current Deputy Surgeon General Erica Schwartz into retirement.

An official for former President Donald Trump confirmed the news to the Post.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams
Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks to the media outside the White House on December 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Adams talked about why President Trump hasn’t received the vaccine yet, citing an experimental antibody treatment he was given while recovering from COVID-19 in October. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

“RADM Erica Schwartz, a career HHS official, served our country with honor and distinction for more than two decades,” said Adm. Brett Giroir, HHS assistant secretary for health according to the report. “It is unfortunate that the American people will no longer have her expertise and dedication as we continue to battle the covid-19 pandemic and prepare the Commissioned Corps for 21st- century challenges.”

As Trump publicly handled the coronavirus pandemic, Adams was by his side, often appearing as a voice for the administration, despite the controversial statements the former president often made regarding COVID-19. Despite the affiliation, he still pushed for behavior such as social distancing and staying home.

theGrio reported Adams warned of the threat looming if the virus wasn’t taken seriously back in March.

“Stay at home, don’t take unnecessary travel, avoid groups of larger than 10. That includes teleworking. There are parts of the country that are doing it. But these mitigation measures work preventively. They work best the earlier you do them and people are still reacting and waiting to see the spread before they get serious,” he said.

Jerome Adams
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Read More: After inauguration, Biden-Harris face two crises: COVID-19 and racism

Adams shared his decision to resign on social media on Wednesday morning.

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve this great Nation, as this has been the honor of my life. Three years and five months ago, I was confirmed as just the 20th United States Surgeon General – and only the second-ever African American male to serve in that role,” he wrote. “…I hope in 2021 and beyond, we can focus more on what unites us, and rise above what divides us. Because Americans working together can overcome any obstacle or adversary.”

Biden has announced plans to undo much of the work completed by the Trump administration. theGrio reported in his first hours as president, he will sign several executive orders to reverse the 45th president’s orders on immigration, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic. In total, the 15 executive actions will end construction on Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall,  end the ban on travel from Muslim-majority countries, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and more.

According to the report, only two presidents in history have signed executive actions on their first day in office — and each signed just one.

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