In normal times, the average American’s experience with the U.S. surgeon general amounts to reading the warnings on a packet of cigarettes or a bottle of alcohol. But in the age of the novel coronavirus, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams has become a regular presence in living rooms—and, recently, not always the most reassuring one.
On March 8, the first time many Americans saw Adams, the 45-year-old sat for an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. Adams, who holds the rank of vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and oversees 6,500 public health officers, explained the nature of coronavirus to Tapper as if he was one of his anesthesiology patients. But as Tapper pressed on to more political ground—whether the age of former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT),