The storming of the U.S. Capitol last week by Donald Trump supporters threatens to “tarnish” the “legacies” of the administration, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wrote the president in his resignation letter released Friday.
“The attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our Democracy and the tradition of peaceful transitions of power that the United States of America first brought to the world,” Azar noted in the letter dated Jan. 12.
“I Implore you to continue to condemn unequivocally any form of violence, to demand that no one attempt to disrupt the inaugural activities in Washington or elsewhere and to continue to support unreservedly the peaceful and orderly transition of power” on Inauguration Day, Azar told Trump.
Azar said that he will stay in his post through Wednesday, adding that it’s in the “best interest of the people” for him to finish out his term amid the pandemic.
Among the Trump administration accomplishments Azar pointed out were the development of the COVID-19 vaccines, which were created by private companies, not the government. But the stumbling vaccine distribution by the Trump administration is being increasingly attacked. The government promised that 20 million Americans would be vaccinated by the last day of 2020. As of Friday just over 12 million people had received the first of two vaccine doses.
Other Trump administration officials, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, resigned following the Capitol attack Jan. 6.
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