Adams made just one TV appearance last week, a steep decline from the 10-plus TV appearances he made the prior week on programs like ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CBS’ “This Morning” and NBC’s “Today Show.” The surgeon general received multiple requests for high-profile media appearances last week that the White House didn’t accept, said two people with knowledge of some of those requests. Adams also hasn’t made an appearance at a White House press briefing since April 10.

Adams’ disappearance on the airwaves and at the White House podium followed comments at a press briefing on April 10 that progressives attacked as racially insensitive for shifting responsibility to minorities. But health officials also fear that minimizing Adams means the White House is retreating from questions about its work on behalf of minority communities, a perennially sensitive issue for President Donald Trump and his administration. Early data from Chicago showed that black communities represented about two-thirds of the city’s Covid-19 deaths, despite representing about one-third of the population.

“No one at the task force is really talking about this, consistently, but Jerome,” said one Health and Human Services official briefed on the task force’s conversations.