Washington: US President Donald Trump has refuted reports of alleged plans to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar amid criticism over the government response to the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.
“Reports that H.H.S. Secretary @AlexAzar is going to be ‘fired’ by me are Fake News. The Lamestream Media knows this, but they are desperate to create the perception of chaos & havoc in the minds of the public. They never even called to ask. Alex is doing an excellent job!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
On Saturday, US media, including The Politico, reported citing anonymous White House officials that there were discussions to replace Azar. The Politico said that possible replacements being considered were White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx, Medicare chief Seema Verma and deputy Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan.
The United States currently has the largest number of coronavirus cases and the highest COVID-19 death toll. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 963,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and the country has registered over 54,800 coronavirus-related fatalities.
On Saturday, the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing was cancelled. On Friday, the White House press briefing lasted just over 20 minutes, as opposed to the usual two hours or more, and Trump did not take any questions from reporters.