Former surgeon general said 'Trump effect' made it hard to find a job
"People still are afraid to touch anything that is associated with Trump," Jerome said, quickly adding that he is "not complaining" but providing “context."
November 27, 2022 10:06am
Updated: November 28, 2022 9:12am
Dr. Jerome Adams, who served as surgeon general during the Trump administration, said that his service under the controversial president tarnished his reputation and made it difficult for him to find work after leaving the White House.
Adams, the 48-year-old anesthesiologist who served as the Indiana Health Commissioner under then-Gov. Mike Pence, and his wife, Lacey, have named it the “Trump Effect,” reports The Washington Post.
The couple felt it when Adams received polite rejections from academic positions because university officials “worried that someone who served in the administration of [former President Donald Trump] would be badly received by their left-leaning student bodies,” or by corporations who “decided he was too tainted to employ,” writes Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia.
Trump is "a force that really does take the air out of the room," said Adams. "The Trump hangover is still impacting me in significant ways."
He was unhappy to see Trump announce his 2024 presidential campaign, saying it "will make things more difficult for me."
Lacey Adams said she “hated Trump” and warned her husband against leaving their comfortable life in Indiana when Trump nominated him in 2017. The doctor argued that he could make a bigger change from within the administration that outside it, especially on opioid addiction – an issue his younger brother struggle with.
She said Jerome bristles at his forever label as “Trump’s surgeon general,” an image sealed by his highly public role during the initial White House response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"People still are afraid to touch anything that is associated with Trump," Jerome said, quickly adding that he is "not complaining" but providing “context." He stepped down in January 2021 at the request of newly elected President Joe Biden.
The couple began to worry after eight months passed without finding a job, especially because Lacey is facing her third bout with skin cancer.
In Sept. 2021, Mitch Daniels, a former Indiana governor and Republican, hired Jerome Adams as the first executive director of health equity initiatives at the school.