Surgeon General cited for taking photos in Hawaii park closed due to Covid-19
Surgeon General Jerome Adams was charged with entering a closed state park and taking photos for violating emergency orders in Hawaii (AP).
The US surgeon general Dr. Jerome Adams was quoted in Honolulu, Hawaii earlier this year after entering a state park that had been closed for photos because of the coronavirus.
Mr. Adams has been charged with violating the Honolulu Mayor's emergency order.
Lex Smith, an attorney representing Mr. Adams, told the Associated Press that the surgeon general was not seeking special treatment and that the incident was based on a misunderstanding.
"During his visit to Oahu, the surgeon general was charged with accidentally violating the state's Emergency Ordinance for his misunderstanding of the law," the attorney said. "He has not requested or received any special treatment in connection with this quote and will respond appropriately."
Both the surgeon general and his adjutant Dennis Anderson-Villaluz were charged for entering the park.
Mr. Adams and his help informed the local police that they entered the park without knowing that it had been closed.
Governor David Ige closed all of the state's parks in the first week of August - the same amount of time Mr Adams and his aide visited - in response to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
The governor had previously closed the parks in March at the start of the pandemic.
Mr Adams will be remotely responding to his charges on October 21st and could face a $ 5,000 fine, up to a year in prison, or possibly both.
The surgeon general will face his charges at a time when many members of the Trump administration come under fire for violating coronavirus guidelines following Donald Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis.
Mr Adams was previously criticized for a poem he tweeted in February that suggested the flu was more dangerous than the coronavirus. Then, a few months later, Mr Adams was punished again for using language critics labeled racially insensitive to pressure minority communities to take the virus more seriously.
Unlike others in the Trump administration, Mr Adams was an advocate of the use of face masks and took a national tour of coronavirus hotspots to encourage Americans to wear masks. His trip to Oahu was one such event.
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