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HHS Sec. Azar submitted resignation

Newman: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has resigned. Azar submitted the standard resignation letter for a Cabinet secretary to offer an outgoing president, dated January 12. Alex Azar said in a resignation letter submitted this week, “President Trump’s “actions and rhetoric” have tarnished the administration’s legacy.” Azar said he plans to stay in his role until Jan. 20, when the president-elect Joe Biden’s team takes over.

His submission of resignation less than a week before the new administration take the office, following of the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call for HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s immediate resignation as Democrats investigate whether Trump administration appointees meddled with coronavirus reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chuck Schumer,said on the Senate floor Tuesday,

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“The secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, has not only failed to push back against these outrageous moves by President Trump, he has been almost entirely silent about the chaos and mismanagement in his own agency.” Schumer said “In Trump’s administration, the most important skill is the ability to stand up to the president and resist political influence.

Democrats in the House launched an investigation last Monday into a report from Politico that said Trump political appointees have demanded the right to review and change weekly scientific reports from the CDC on the coronavirus pandemic.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wrote, in the letter obtained by CNN Friday,

“Unfortunately, the actions and rhetoric following the election, especially during this past week, threaten to tarnish these and other historic legacies of this Administration.”

In the letter, addressed to President Trump, Azar laid out what he considered to be the best accomplishments of HHS over the past four years.

“The attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power that the United States of America first brought to the world,” Azar wrote in the letter, first reported by the New York Times.

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“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.”

Azar mentions the coronavirus pandemic first and it was, by far, the biggest development of Trump’s presidency. But in his letter, Azar doesn’t mention the federal government’s failure to warn of a pandemic for weeks, or the greatly delayed rollout of tests that public health experts say slowed the US response during crucial weeks that could have slowed the spread of the virus.  More than 390,000 Americans have died in the pandemic and more than 23 million have been diagnosed with the virus.

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