Surgeon general defends choice of words after reporter accuses him of ‘offensive’ language

After a reporter tried to suggest that remarks made by Surgeon General Jerome Adams with regard to minority communities were “offensive,” the surgeon general brushed off the allegation, responding that the terms he’d used were “not meant to be offensive,” The Daily Caller reported.

It has been routine for some in the mainstream media to label every remark made by President Donald Trump in regard to race as being “racist” and “offensive.” Apparently, that tendency has been expanded to apply to the members of his administration, including even Adams, who himself is black.

Surgeon general addresses minority communities

The ridiculous confrontation — and it was indeed ridiculous and unnecessary — came during the White House coronavirus task force briefing on Friday.

The surgeon general had taken a moment to directly address minority communities about the emerging data that suggests African Americans and Latinos are dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than other groups.

“I want to close by saying while your state and local health departments and those of us in public service are working day and night to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect you regardless of your color, your creed, or your geography, I need you to know that you’re not helpless and that it’s even more important in communities of color, we adhere to the task force guidelines to slow the spread,” Adams said. “Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. And call your friends and family. Check on your mother, she wants to hear from you right now.”

“And speaking of mothers, we need you to do this, if not for yourself, then for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your Big Mama. Do it for your Pop-Pop,” Adams pleaded. ” 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.”

Reporter: “Some people” are “already offended”

Later, during the question and answer portion of the briefing, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor — who quite often unnecessarily injects racial issues into her questions — asserted that some people were “offended” by Adams’ remarks.

“You said that African Americans and Latinos should avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. You also said do it for your abuela, do it for Big Mama and Pop-Pop. There are some people online that are already offended by that language and the idea that you’re saying behaviors might be leading to these high death rates,” Alcindor said.

“Could you talk about whether or not people — could you, I guess, have a response for people who might be offended by the language that you used?” she asked.

Adams: “Not meant to be offensive”

Adams replied that he’d specifically used that language as a means to reach out to minority communities. “And I used the language that is used in my family. I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law. I call my granddaddy ‘granddaddy.’ I have relatives who call their — their grandparents ‘Big Mama,'” he said. “So that was not meant to be offensive. That’s the language that we use and that I use. And we need to continue to target our outreach to those communities.”

After reiterating his specific intent regarding outreach to minority communities, he did clarify that his warning about alcohol, tobacco, and drug use applies to all people, regardless of race. “Absolutely. It’s especially important for people who are at risk and with comorbidities. But, yes, all Americans.”

Watch the exchange below:

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