Schumer Floor Remarks Calling On HHS Secretary Azar To Resign Following Reports Of Political Interference With CDC Coronavirus Reports

September 15, 2020

Washington, D.C.—Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor asking that HHS Secretary Alex Azar resign after disturbing allegations that his department interfered with CDC coronavirus reports that might embarrass the president. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Every week brings new evidence that his administration is totally unequipped to right the ship—especially the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Over the weekend, there were numerous reports that political appointees at HHS have been interfering with the CDC’s reports on COVID-19—trying to delay, edit out, or halt the release of facts that would have been be politically embarrassing to the President.

This is not the first time the Administration has tried to hide reports and facts that would better inform the American people.

Meanwhile, as this is happening, President Trump has pressured HHS to “slow the testing down;” he’s overstated the benefits of certain treatments and pressured the FDA to approve them, and accused FDA officials of holding back a vaccine. And, too many people within HHS are trying to suppress the science.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, has not only failed to push back against these outrageous moves by President Trump, he’s been almost entirely silent about the chaos and mismanagement in his own agency.

In Trump’s Administration, the most important skill is the ability to stand up to the President and resist political influence. More in an agency like HHS than others, where the health of Americans is at stake.

It has become abundantly clear that the leadership of the Dept. of Health and Human Services has allowed perhaps the most important federal agency right now to become subservient to the president’s daily whims.

So today, I am calling on Secretary Azar to resign, immediately. We need a Secretary of Health and Human Services who will look out for the American people, not President Trump’s political interests.