Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar criticized a CNN report late Friday night which he claims mischaracterized the nature of his resignation from the Trump administration.
“Contrary to the @CNN chyron, I am still here serving the American people at HHS,” Azar tweeted Friday night.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar has resigned with only five days left on the job.
He should have resigned months ago for his failed leadership on the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/bREz4idOKo
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 16, 2021
Cooper’s report did not initially include that Azar’s letter indicated his resignation would not be effective until Jan. 20 at noon, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office. Azar reiterated that on Twitter, saying, “I believe it is my duty to help ensure a smooth transition to President-elect Biden’s team during the pandemic and will remain as Secretary through January 20.”
Contrary to the @CNN chyron, I am still here serving the American people at HHS. I believe it is my duty to help ensure a smooth transition to President-elect Biden’s team during the pandemic and will remain as Secretary through January 20. pic.twitter.com/zXe1y2om1k
— Secretary Alex Azar (@SecAzar) January 16, 2021
Azar also did not explicitly cite the Capitol riot as the reasoning behind his resignation. He did mention it in his letter, calling the attack on Congress an “assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power.” He added that the events that have taken place since the election “threaten to tarnish” the legacies of not only his department, but the Trump administration as a whole. (RELATED: Vaccine Stockpile Trump Administration Promised To Release Doesn’t Actually Exist)
It is common practice for political appointees within the White House to formally submit their resignations before the transition of power is finalized, in order to allow the incoming president to more quickly fill key administration positions.