Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar on the White House on August 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Pete Marovich | Getty Images
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is resigning on Jan 20, the identical day President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
In his resignation letter dated Jan. 12, Azar took a parting shot at President Donald Trump, mentioning the riot on the U.S. Capitol final week, the place a violent mob of Trump’s supporters breached the constructing, injuring dozens of cops and inflicting 5 deaths.
Azar wrote that “the actions and rhetoric following the election, especially during the past week, threaten to tarnish” the legacies of this administration. “The attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power that the United States first brought to the world.”
Azar’s resignation got here after U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and a number of other different Trump administration officers resigned after the president was accused of inciting the violence by directing protesters to move to the U.S. Capitol the place lawmakers have been finalizing Biden’s win. The mob descended on the Capitol constructing Wednesday shortly after proceedings started to depend the Electoral College votes and make sure Biden’s election.
“With the pandemic raging, the continued need to deliver vaccines and therapeutics to the American people, and the imperative of ensuring a smooth transition to the Biden Administration, I have determined that it is in the best interest of the people we serve to remain as Secretary until the end of the term,” Azar stated in his letter addressed to Trump.
“I Implore you to continue to condemn unequivocally any form of violence, to demand that no one attempt to disrupt the inaugural activities in Washington or elsewhere and to continue to support unreservedly the peaceful and orderly transition of power on January 20, 2021.”
In a tweet final week, Azar condemned the riot, saying he was “disgusted.”
“Physical violence and the desecration of this hallowed symbol of our democracy must end. People must immediately and peacefully disperse,” he stated on Twitter.
Trump chosen Azar, a former pharmaceutical government, to move the U.S. company in late 2017, changing Trump’s first HHS chief, Dr. Tom Price. His division is liable for overseeing the sprawling Medicare and Medicaid applications in addition to U.S. public well being, medical analysis and the protection of meals and medicines. He’s been an integral determine within the administration’s Covid-19 response.
Prior to his position, Azar served because the division’s basic counsel from 2001 to 2005 and deputy secretary from 2005 to 2007. From 2012 to 2017, he was president of Lilly USA, the American arm of drug large Eli Lilly.
Azar’s resignation comes amid a once-in-a-century pandemic. The U.S. currently has greater than 23.33 million coronavirus instances and has recorded essentially the most virus deaths by a large margin, with greater than 389,000 confirmed fatalities to date, based on information compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Federal and state officers are racing to distribute vaccines to forestall Covid-19 and convey an finish to the pandemic.
Azar highlighted his efforts to guide his division throughout what he described as an “unprecedented pandemic.”
“Drawing on my leadership of pandemic flu preparedness efforts during my earlier tenure at HHS and subsequent experience in the private sector, we created a historic partnership with the Department of Defense, our scientists, and the pharmaceutical industry to bring therapeutics and vaccines to the American people in record time,” Azar wrote. “Operation Warp Speed achieved in nine months what many doubted would be possible in a year and a half or more. As of this date, we have two safe and effective vaccines being administered to millions of Americans, with more vaccines likely to be authorized shortly. We have two safe and effective therapeutics that can help keep the vulnerable out of our hospitals, with more therapies on the way … While we mourn every lost life, our early, aggressive, and comprehensive efforts saved hundreds of thousands or even millions of American lives.”
President-elect Joe Biden plans to make use of FEMA and the National Guard to construct coronavirus vaccine clinics throughout the United States, based on new particulars of his Covid-19 vaccination plan launched by his transition staff on Friday.
Read Azar’s full resignation letter beneath:
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