White House Corrects Reports that Jerome Adams Was Booted from Briefings

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Posted: Apr 21, 2020 9:00 AM
White House Corrects Reports that Jerome Adams Was Booted from Briefings

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

New White House strategic communications director Alyssa Farah already has her work cut out for her. One of her first orders of business was to correct fake news reports that Surgeon General Jerome Adams was "sidelined" from public appearances after some comments he made last week about how the coronavirus affects minority communities. 

"Avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs,” Adams told minorities during a coronavirus task force briefing. "We need you to do this, if not for yourself, then for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your Big Mama. Do it for your Pop-Pop."

PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who has made a habit out of asking outlandishly partisan and hostile questions at the task force briefings, asked Adams if he was aware that his remarks had "offended" some viewers, per her perusal of Twitter. Adams earnestly explained that he was only using language that has been used in his own family, and meant no disrespect.

"I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law," he explained. "I call my Grand Daddy 'Grand Daddy.' I have relatives who call their grandparents 'Big Mama.' So that was not meant to be offensive, that is the language that we use and that I use and we need to continue to target our outreach to those communities."

Still, according to the media, the White House intentionally limited Adams's TV appearances this week following the furor. Here was Politico's proof: "The surgeon general received multiple requests for high-profile media appearances last week that the White House didn't accept, said two people with knowledge of some of those requests."

Farah quickly put the rumor to rest, asking Politico why they hadn't reached out to her for a comment. She likely would have qualified as a "person with knowledge."

Other social media users noted that they just saw Adams on TV Friday night.

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