HHS Secretary Azar ‘still serving the American people’ as he submits resignation effective Jan. 20

Presidential Transition

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 14: U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks at George Washington University Hospital on December 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. Azar and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams will observe hospital workers being vaccinated. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar Friday night tweeted his resignation letter to President Donald Trump, stating he will remain Secretary until the Biden administration begins on Jan. 20.

The letter, dated Jan 12, says Azar’s resignation is effective Jan. 20 at noon when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

In his tweet, Azar clarified he “is still here serving the American people at HHS” after another media outlet reported otherwise. He continued, “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.”

Azar noted, “I handed in my letter this week along with every other political appointee, effective January 20 at noon.”

In the Jan. 12 letter, Azar cited what he called the administration’s successes, including the rapid development of coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics, which he said saved “hundreds of thousands or even millions of American lives.”

But, Azar voiced concern that last week’s mob siege of the Capitol building and Trump’s unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud “threaten to tarnish these and other historic legacies of this administration.”

“The attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power,” Azar wrote in his formal resignation letter. 

(Reuters reporting contributed by Eric Beech; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

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