Azar Acknowledges Biden Win And He’ll Give Transition Team ‘Everything That They Need’

Secretary of Health and Humans Services, Alex Azar speaks during a Cabinet meeting in on August 16, 2018. (Photo by Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images)

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday stepped away from President Donald Trump’s fantasy that he, not President-elect Joe Biden, won the 2020 election.

Azar told CNN that his department “will ensure a full cooperative, professional transition.”

“I’ve already met with the Biden transition team,” he said. “We want to make sure they get everything that they need.”

The Trump official stated that he would be in touch with Biden’s chosen HHS secretary, Xavier Becerra, “as is appropriate” before the Senate confirmation hearings.

“I want to ensure that any transition is as smooth, as professional, as possible because we’re about ensuring the health and well-being of the American people, and that’s what matters to me,” he said.

Azar’s remarks signaled something of a shift after he kept refusing to refer to Biden as the president-elect on Sunday, prompting Fox News anchor Chris Wallace to correct him twice.

And several weeks ago, the official told “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos that he would not allow his department to share its data on distributing the COVID-19 vaccine with the Biden transition team until the General Service Administration (GSA) formally ascertains the ex-vice president’s victory. The GSA, headed by a Trump appointee, did not do so until nearly three weeks after the election.

Watch Azar below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: