On Saturday, The Daily Beast profiled how Surgeon General Jerome Adams has apparently bent over backward to drive the narrative President Donald Trump desires — and how he is alienating other public health officials in the process.
“On March 8, the first time many Americans saw Adams, the 45-year-old sat for an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper,” wrote Adam Wren. “Adams, who holds the rank of vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and oversees 6,500 public health officers, explained the nature of coronavirus to Tapper as if he was one of his anesthesiology patients. But as Tapper pressed on to more political ground — whether the age of former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and President Donald Trump meant they should stop campaigning in person — Adams careened off message. ‘Speaking of being at risk, the president, he sleeps less than I do, and he’s healthier than what I am,’ responded Adams, 46, who cuts a trim and athletic figure and runs 5Ks.”
One of Adams’ former aides in Indiana, when he served as health commissioner to then-governor Mike Pence, was shocked by this claim and privately texted him to ask if he was serious, according to Wren. Adams’ response was that he is on more medications than the president, so his claim was technically true — even though that isn’t necessarily the only measure of health.
Meanwhile, wrote Wren, “On Wednesday, he was asked by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie whether the U.S. could meet the demand for ventilators. ‘The best way to not run out of ventilators or [personal protective equipment] is to make sure you drive down demand,’ Adams responded, discussing the virus in terms that implied people were pursuing—not avoiding—it. And that’s not to mention a discordant chiding he gave reporters in a March 14 briefing: ‘No more criticism or finger-pointing,’ Adams told the assembled press, playing media critic instead of the anesthesiologist he is.”
All of this has outraged former White House officials.
“In a few sentences, that took away so much of his credibility,” said former Health and Human Services official Leslie Dach, who was involved in America’s response to the Ebola outbreak of 2014. “It shows how much this president can corrupt the integrity of people when they choose to be part of his political strategy instead of doing the job they took an oath to do. To be up there in that uniform is a disgrace.”
You can read more here.