His call for Azar to resign comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, which the senator says the HHS has had a chaotic response to.
Schumer said on the Senate floor on Tuesday, “It has become abundantly clear that the leadership of the Department 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,” he continued. “We need a Secretary of Health and Human Services who will look out for the American people, not President Trump’s political interests.”
See Schumer’s remarks below:
Here’s Sen. Schumer calling for Sec. Azar’s resignation: pic.twitter.com/G0cOXwvYMc
— The Recount (@therecount) September 15, 2020
Secretary Azar must resign immediately.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 15, 2020
We need a Secretary of Health & Human Services who will fight for the American people.
Not one subservient to the daily whims of President Trump and his pressure to “slow the testing down.”
Not one silent on the chaos at the Department.
Schumer added that 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.”
His remarks come after reports of controversies at HHS, including the New York Times report on HHS assistant secretary of public affairs Michael Caputo accusing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of harboring a “resistance unit” to Trump. Caputo also suggested Trump supporters buy ammunition ahead of the upcoming election.
Additionally, Politico reported on September 11 that Caputo and his team have “demanded the right to review and seek changes” to CDC scientific reports on the coronavirus.
House Democrats are launching an investigation following the Politico report.
“During the pandemic, experts have relied on these reports to determine how the virus spreads and who is at greatest risk,” Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) wrote in a letter on Sept. 14 first obtained by Politico. “Yet HHS officials apparently viewed these scientific reports as opportunities for political manipulation.”