SHOT: HHS Secretary Alex Azar Testified Today That He’s In Charge Of Managing The Coronavirus Outbreak And That Appointing A Czar To Lead The Response Would Be An ‘Oddity’: “I serve as the lead on this while it’s a public health emergency…it’s just the longstanding doctrine that this should be led by HHS with a public health emergency. It’s not actually a change. The oddity was actually what President Obama did with the Ebola response. I don’t know why they felt things weren’t working and needed to do that.” [House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Hearing, 2/26/20]

CHASER: During Azar’s Testimony, The White House Directly Undercut Azar’s Authority, Claiming That They Are In Fact Considering Appointing A Czar To Lead The Coronavirus Response. “The White House is weighing whether to appoint a coronavirus czar to coordinate the response to the spreading epidemic, according to two people familiar with the matter.” [POLITICO, 2/26/20]