Surgeon General Jerome Adams Says He Meant No Offense When Questioned About Comments on People of Color at Briefing
PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor confronted Surgeon General Jerome Adams on his statement that “African-Americans and Latinos should avoid alcohol, drugs and tobacco,” clarifying that people were offended by the language he used.
“I have a quick question for you. You said that African-Americans and Latinos should avoid alcohol, drugs and tobacco. You also said, ‘do it for you Abuela, do it for big momma and papa,” she said. “There are some people online that are already offended by that language and the idea that you’re saying behaviors might be leading to these high death rates.”
“Could you talk about whether or not — I guess have a response to the people that might be offended by the language you used?” Alcindor asked.
“I’ve been meeting with the NAACP, with the National Medical Association, with others. I actually talked with Derek Johnson multiple times this week, the head of the NAACP, and we need targeted outreach to the African-American community and I use the language that is used in my family,” Adams explained.”I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law. I call my granddaddy, granddaddy. I have relatives who call their grandparents big momma. So that is not meant to be offensive.”
“It is not just about what you do but you also are not helpless,” he added. “We need to do our part at the federal level, we need people to do their part at the state level and we need everyone, black, brown, white, whatever color you are, to follow the president’s guidelines, the coronavirus guidelines and do their part.”
“So you recommend that all Americans avoid tobacco, alcohol and drug use?” Alcindor asked.
“Absolutely. It is especially important for people who are at risk in comorbidities, but yes, all Americans,” Adams clarified.
Many, including Alcindor, took to Twitter to call out the Surgeon General’s language:
What … is … happening … ? https://t.co/ZeiuHEMYzQ
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) April 10, 2020
The *Black* surgeon general didn’t use the word “racism” but he did use words “Big Momma” and “Pop Pop.”
— Crystal Fleming is not a Democrat (@alwaystheself) April 10, 2020
What in the actual shit is wrong with EVERYBODY who willing works for Donald Trump? https://t.co/lD2rwItIBM
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) April 10, 2020
Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General, tells black people, Latinos and other ppl of color to avoid alcohol and drugs and adds: “Do it for your abuela, do it for your grandaddy, do it for your Big Mama, do it for your pop pop.”
Context: Many found this language highly offensive.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 10, 2020
“Do it for your abuela… Do it for your Big Mama… Do it for your Pop-Pop”
Jerome exhibits cultural competence re: COVID-19
— #DontForgetTheHomeless (@FeministaJones) April 10, 2020
Trump’s face as his surgeon general says “do it for your big momma” at a press conference is my life right now. pic.twitter.com/CfS763hBlD
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) April 10, 2020
“Do it for you Abuela, do it for Grand Daddy. Do it for Big Mama do it for your Pop Pop.”
A new Self Distancing Rallying Cry has emerged. Thanks Surgeon General Adams. pic.twitter.com/bO2FmElOWH
— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) April 10, 2020
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) April 10, 2020
Diamond, Silk and Jerome https://t.co/AJ8anEhru3
— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) April 10, 2020
But I just can’t give up this crack and this lean, Rome… https://t.co/we3PfPDoCj
— Wʏɴᴛᴇʀ Mɪᴛᴄʜᴇʟʟ (Rᴏʜʀʙᴀᴜɢʜ) (@wyntermitchell) April 10, 2020
Watch above, via CNN.
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