Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday referred to as for HHS Secretary Alex Azar to resign over his stance on actions by President Donald Trump and HHS officers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schumer is the highest-ranking Democrat to name for Azar’s resignation after current reviews that HHS employees tried to intrude with public well being knowledge reporting.
Schumer additionally criticized the President Donald Trump’s reluctance to invoke the Protection Manufacturing Act to mandate manufacturing of private protecting equipments and the delegation of testing, provide distribution and speak to tracing to state officers.
“The Secretary of Well being and Human Companies, Alex Azar, has not solely did not push again towards these outrageous strikes by President Trump, he has been virtually fully silent concerning the chaos and mismanagement in his personal company,” Schumer mentioned on the Senate ground.
HHS aides’ makes an attempt to intrude with CDC weekly scientific reviews was first reported by Politico. The Home Committee on Oversight and Reform subcommittee on the coronavirus disaster has requested paperwork associated to the interference and that concerned people testify.
Officers at public well being companies ought to resist political affect, Schumer argued.
HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley mentioned Azar has insisted that science and knowledge drive choices at HHS and that Trump have direct entry to the nation’s prime medical doctors all through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Senator Schumer’s feedback are uninformed and are an try to mislead the American folks and discredit the historic work of the Trump Administration to fight COVID-19,” Oakley mentioned.
The highest Democrat on the Senate well being committee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), on Monday referred to as for Azar to demand that prime HHS communications official Michael Caputo’s resignation after The New York Instances reported Caputo claimed that Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention scientists are attempting to undermine Trump.
“It is clear Sec. Azar cannot meet his primary duties whereas permitting Caputo, a yes-man for President Trump with no scientific experience who publicly attacked CDC scientists & privately interfered with key CDC reviews, to proceed serving in such an influential position,” Murray tweeted.