President Joe Biden just asked Surgeon General Jerome Adams to resign from his post, Adams announced Wednesday.
The news came after reports from the Washington Examiner and elsewhere first revealed that Biden was planning to ax the surgeon general shortly after taking office Wednesday.
“I’ve been asked by the Biden team to step down as Surgeon General,” Adams wrote in a tweet. “[It’s] been the honor of my life to serve this Nation, and I will do all I can to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve and maintain health.”
I’ve been asked by the Biden team to step down as Surgeon General. Its been the honor of my life to serve this Nation, and I will do all I can to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve and maintain health. See my full statement at: https://t.co/pCkbpealt8
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) January 20, 2021
“My proudest achievement”
In a lengthier statement shared to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Facebook page on Wednesday, Adams reiterated that he was honored to serve the country as “only the second ever African American male to serve in that role.”
“My tenure started with three [C]ategory 5 hurricanes barreling down on our citizens. I immediately deployed to witness the devastation first hand, and to lead our Public Health Service Officers as we helped with the response,” he said. “I saw the best of our Nation coming together in the worse of times, to help those who’d lost everything.”
Adams also noted that one of his top areas of focus was the opioid crisis, which he tried to clamp down on by making an anti-overdose drug known as Naloxone more widely available.
“Working across government and with amazing advocacy organizations on the ground — many led by parents who had lost their own children to opioid overdose — we were able to increase Naloxone availability nationwide by over 400%, and save countless lives,” Adams wrote in his Wednesday statement.
“This is perhaps my proudest achievement, as my family has been personally impacted by substance misuse, and I firmly believe stigma remains one of our biggest killers and barriers to health,” he added.
A look ahead
The Washington Examiner reports that Biden is expected to replace Adams with Dr. Vivek Murthy, who previously occupied the role of surgeon general under then-President Barack Obama.
Biden will select an individual to serve in an acting role in the position until Murthy can be confirmed by the Senate, reports note. In the meantime, Adams hopes the country can come together for a common cause.
“I wasn’t always right — because no one was, and this virus continues to humble all of us — but I was always sincere in my efforts to speak to everyday Americans, and address the terrible health inequities this virus exposed,” he said Wednesday of the COVID-19 pandemic. “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.”