Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams resigned Wednesday morning at the request of President-elect Joe Biden, ending his term several months early as the new administration looks to chart its own path in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Adams confirmed that the incoming administration asked that he step down in the hours before Biden’s inauguration.
“It’s been the honor of my life to serve this nation, and I will do all I can to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve and maintain health,” Adams tweeted Wednesday.
Biden has nominated Vivek H. Murthy, who served as surgeon general under President Barack Obama, to reprise the role in his administration, though the Senate confirmation hearings haven’t been scheduled yet, The Washington Post reported.
Adams was sworn in as surgeon general on Sept. 5, 2017, by Trump to serve a four-year term, which would have expired this September.
He was one of the faces of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response efforts, though his views occasionally drew scorn, particularly regarding the pandemic’s effect on minority communities.
“In the face of a once in a century pandemic, I sought to communicate the rapidly evolving science on this deadly adversary, and arm people with the knowledge and tools they needed to stay safe,” he said in a Facebook statement Wednesday. “I wasn’t always right- because no one was, and this virus continues to humble all of us- but I was always sincere in my efforts to speak to every day Americans, and address the terrible health inequities this virus exposed.