Surgeon General Jerome Adams made offensive comments during a White House coronavirus briefing

Maxine Waters
Maxine Waters



U.S. House of Representatives


Donald Trump has found a new vessel by which to spew his racist dog whistles: his Surgeon General Jerome Adams. That the surgeon general of the United States would stand before the American people – and his community – and deliver an address riddled with racist tropes in the midst of a public health crisis is absolutely unconscionable and deeply offensive. Instead of using the full power of his office to better inform and direct resources to the African American community, Adams used his five minutes of fame to do Trump’s dirty work and insult African Americans and other communities of color.

Those of us who understand our history heard today’s so-called advice from a Trump acolyte for what it was: a backhanded attack on African Americans and communities of color by an incompetent administration that has utterly failed to rise up to the challenge that coronavirus presents to this country.

Trump and his sycophants know full well that this administration’s botched response to this crisis will be well documented in history. You can rest assured that whenever Trump and his minions are confronted with a crisis, they point to their favorite scapegoats: communities of color. At the onset of this crisis, Trump used racial slurs to describe the coronavirus that led to violence against the Asian American Pacific Islander community. Trump attempted to blame former President Obama for his own administration’s lies and failures to produce tests for the American people. He has repeatedly attacked African American journalists, Yamiche Alcindor and April Ryan, for simply doing their job. On April 10, however, he appointed Adams to do his racist bidding.

While Trump, Adams and others are busying pointing the finger and spewing lies, thousands of people in this country – particularly African Americans – are dying. According to preliminary data, African Americans in Los Angeles County make up 9% of the population, but 17% of the COVID-19 related deaths, The Los Angeles Times reported. African Americans in Michigan represented 40% of deaths, yet only comprise 14% of the state’s population, according to Vox. In Wisconsin, specifically Milwaukee County, African Americans make up 70% of all COVID-19 deaths, despite being 27% of the population. Similarly, in Louisiana, African Americans represent approximately 32% of the overall population, but account for 70% of COVID-19 deaths, as noted by The Washington Post.

Trump, Adams and anyone else in this administration who believes that insulting minority communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic is appropriate, are not worth their weight in salt. Adams and all others who condoned this offensive and flawed presentation to the American people should be removed from our nation’s coronavirus task force without delay.


Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who represents the 43rd Congressional District of California, is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today. She has gained a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor.


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