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Poor Dr. Hunk


America’s Surgeon-Hunk is Jerome Adams. Well, actually, that’s not his official title: officially he’s the Surgeon-General. But I think you’d agree that on the Hunkitude Scale, Dr. Adams is a perfect 10!

I mean, he’s right out of Central Casting, which is why Trump appointed him as America’s #1 doctor, back in 2017. Trump is famously said to favor, for his appointees, people who look the right way, and Dr. Adams certainly has the bedroom eyes, square jaw and all-American handsomeness to play a hot young doctor on T.V.

Adams is a Pence guy: Pence made him famous. When our pious Vice President was Governor of Indiana, he appointed Adams as the State Health Commissioner. Adams played his politics close to the vest, but there were hints that he was in the pocket of the far right. For example, while he was Health Commissioner, he was involved in a vaccination fight in which extremist Christians were opposed to vaccinating young people against the Human Papillomarvirus. At first, Adams was in favor, as he indicated in a letter. Then, when the Christians went batshit, his department changed its position. As the news site Rewire reported, “It is unclear what role Adams himself played in this controversy. We do not know, for example, whether he argued vehemently for the original letter or swiftly agreed to modify it. We only know that the original letter upset Pence’s far-right allies in Indiana and that a second letter was written, all while Adams was heading the IDHS (Indiana Department of Health Services).”

Well, an ambitious young doctor-politician has to do what he has to do to climb the greasy pole, right? At any rate, Adams, who has figured prominently standing just behind Trump and Pence during their daily T.V. coronavirus press events, came out the other day in strong defense of his commander-in-chief. Trump, obviously, has come under legitimate and sustained attack for his response, or lack of it, to the coronavirus crisis. From his initial “It’s a Democrat hoax” to his later lie that the coronavirus test is available to anybody who wants it, Trump has seen his credibility—never high to begin with—further erode, to the point where his re-election (which is the only thing that matters to him) is endangered. So here comes Dr. Hunk, who “told White House reporters Saturday that there should be no more ‘criticism or finger-pointing’ at the Trump administration’s coronavirus response. No more bickering. No more partisanship,” he added. “No more criticism or finger-pointing. There’ll be plenty of time for that.”

Look, Dr. Hunk may be the prettiest face in D.C., and he may even be a fine physician, but a political expert, he’s not. Somebody should do some ‘splainin’ to him. “Doc, you chose to enter the administration of the most nakedly partisan, finger-pointing president in the history of this country. You have chosen to stand with and support a president who routinely criticizes anybody and everybody he hates—which is pretty much half the country. And your president also has chosen to lie about science—the very science you claim to respect. So, please, don’t lecture the White House Press Corps, or anybody else for that matter, about partisanship.”

One might say much the same to Anthony Fauci. Now, Dr. Fauci, who’s been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, actually is one of my heroes. He found himself at Ground Zero in the battle against AIDS, and did a pretty good job (despite the opposition of the Reagan administration) at getting as much money as he could (which wasn’t much) to combat the new disease. It can’t have been easy—nor can working for the current president be easy. There are times when Fauci, standing behind Trump as the president lies and brags, looks like he wants to throw up. But when you’ve been a government bureaucrat as long as Dr. Fauci has, you learn to “go along to get along.”

You have to feel sorry for guys like Fauci and Adams. I don’t know what political party they belong to, but they’re both scientists, and so they have to care about stuff like facts and truth. Their boss, Trump, obviously doesn’t; they have to walk that tightrope of being loyal to the team, on the one hand, and being respectful of their Hippocratic Oath, on the other. I like to think that, if I were in their position, I’d quit, hold a press conference, and tell America that Trump is literally killing people through his stupidity and indifference. That neither Fauci or Adams has done this—that Adams has done just the opposite, and defended the indefensible—is not encouraging, in a man who is supposed to be America’s top doctor in a time of worldwide pandemic.

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