Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, who was once a prominent face at President Trump’s press conference for the coronavirus, is facing a fine and jail time for breaking coronavirus rules in Hawaii.
According to The Washington Post, in late August a police officer driving by Kualoa Regional Park “noticed three men near the shore, snapping photos of the jagged jungle mountains and cerulean seas on Oahu’s northeastern coast.” The park was shut down due to the island’s pandemic restrictions. One of those three men was 46-year-old Dr. Jerome Adams.
The police officer gave them a citation and now Adams has a remote court date on Oct. 21. It’s a misdemeanor offense that could result in a $5,000 fine, up to a year in jail or both, the Associated Press reported.
Adams’ attorney said in a statement to the Associated Press, “During his visit to Oahu, the surgeon general was cited for accidentally violating the mayor’s emergency order, due to his misunderstanding of the law. He has not asked for, nor has he received, any special treatment in connection with this citation, and will respond to it appropriately.”
In February, Adams was criticized for tweeting out a poem that appeared to suggest the flu was worse than the coronavirus.
Two months later in April, Adams came under fire again. During a press conference, he spoke about how coronavirus is disproportionately affecting Black and Latino communities, urging members of those communities to refrain from alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, and to adhere to federal shelter-in-place guidelines.
"We need you to do this, if not for yourself, then for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your big mama. Do it for your pop pop," Adams said.
PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor later questioned Adams’ choice of words.
"There are some people online who are already offended by that language and the idea that behaviors may be leading to these high death rates,” Alcindor asked. “Could you, I guess, have a response to those who might be offended by the language you used?"
Adams defended himself by saying he used language he uses with his family.
(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
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