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Washington Post: Biden to ask for US Surgeon General Jerome Adams’ resignation and name acting official

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to ask for US Surgeon General Jerome Adams’ resignation soon after he is sworn-in on Wednesday, and select an acting surgeon general while his permanent pick for the role of the nation’s top doctor undergoes Senate confirmation, according to The Washington Post.

Biden last month announced he will nominate Dr. Vivek Murthy as surgeon general, a role Murthy held for about two years under the Obama administration until he was asked to resign by the Trump White House in 2017.

The Post reported that the incoming Biden administration could as soon as Wednesday ask Adams to leave his role and name an acting surgeon general, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

President Donald Trump’s White House had requested Murthy resign with about two years remaining in his standard four-year term, a dismissal some Democrats criticized at the time as politicizing the position.

Trump then nominated Adams, an anesthesiologist who previously served as the Indiana state health commissioner, to the job in 2017. Adams’ four-year term was set to expire in September.

He will be one of several Trump officials involved in the President’s Covid-19 task force asked to step down as the Biden’s team takes over the federal response to the pandemic.

Adams declined to comment to the Post. A spokesperson for Biden referred the Post to Murthy’s pending nomination as surgeon general.

The Post also reported that in choosing an acting surgeon general, the Biden administration will bypass Deputy Surgeon General Erica Schwartz, a career civil servant who plans on retiring in light of being passed over. Schwartz did not respond to the Post’s request for comment. A top Trump administration official confirmed to the Post that Schwartz is retiring.

If confirmed by the US Senate, Murthy would play a key role in the administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Murthy has been a top health adviser to Biden since the campaign. He was part of Biden’s public health advisory committee when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit the US and has been serving as a co-chair of Biden’s coronavirus advisory board during the presidential transition.

The incoming Biden administration is hoping to move into a “new phase” of the federal government’s coronavirus response, including naming a new task force and retiring the “Operation Warp Speed” moniker under Trump for the vaccine effort.

Biden has picked Dr. David Kessler to be the chief scientific officer of the Covid response, taking over for Moncef Slaoui, who has led the effort during the Trump administration. Slaoui has agreed to stay on another month to “ensure a smooth transition,” a Biden transition official told CNN.

Biden has asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to also serve as his chief medical adviser on Covid-19.

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