Politico: Surgeon General Adams pushed to sidelines of Coronavirus Task Force
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s former health commissioner, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, was benched from appearances with the nation’s Coronavirus Task Force after remarks on COVID-19’s threat to minorities, according to an online news report.
Adams on April 10, his last appearance at a task force briefing, made a plea to minority communities to follow social distancing guidelines — if not for themselves, then for their family members.
“Do it for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your Big Mama. Do it for your Pop Pop,” he said, adding that they should also avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
“We need you to understand, especially in communities of color, we need you to step up and help stop the spread so that we can protect those who are most vulnerable,” said the task force member.
Asked whether his comments could be deemed offensive for viewers, Adams, who is black, said that was not his intention.
Politico.com reported the Trump administration removed Adams from the podium. The news website said the surgeon general received multiple requests for high-profile media appearances last week that the White House didn’t accept, according to two people with knowledge of some of those requests.
The African-American anesthesiologist who attended attended Indiana University School of Medicine as an Eli Lilly and Co. Scholar was described in the article as the “White House’s loudest voice on racial disparities even as concerns mount about risks to communities of color.”
Adams has said that while many people of color suffer underlying health conditions, it’s also likely that there’s a social aspect.
“The chronic burden of medical ills is likely to make people of color less resilient to the ravages of COVID-19 and it is possibly, in fact, likely, that the burden of social ills is also contributing,” Adams said during a White House press briefing.
He also has said the administration is taking steps to reach and strengthen communities of color.
“More details will be forthcoming, but we are actively working … (on it through) data collection, targeted outreach to communities of color and increasing financial, employment, education, housing, social and health supports so that everybody has an equal chance to be healthy,” Adams said.
The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.