After confessing to 'disrespectful' behavior toward colleagues, a Biden Cabinet member resigns

Dr. Eric Lander, a science adviser, apologized to colleagues for referring to them in a "disrespectful and insulting manner."

Dr. Eric Lander, a former member of Biden's Cabinet and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), resigned Monday evening after an internal White House investigation discovered credible evidence that he had spoken harshly and disrespectfully to colleagues in front of other colleagues.

NEW: Eric Lander has resigned. Here's his reisignation letter.

first reported by Wapo. pic.twitter.com/KVwGtuOQ0o

— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) February 8, 2022

"I am devastated that I caused hurt to past and present colleagues by the way in which I have spoken to them," Lander wrote in his letter of resignation. "But it is clear that things I said, and the way I said them, crossed the line at times into being disrespectful and demeaning, to both men and women. That was never my intention. Nonetheless, it is my fault and my responsibility. I will take this lesson forward. I believe it is not possible to continue effectively in my role, and the work of this office is far too important to be hindered."

Eric Lander speaks to members of the media after being sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on June 2, 2021.
On June 2, 2021, Eric Lander addresses the media after being sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. (Bloomberg/Erin Scott)

According to an email acquired by Fox News on Monday, Lander previously apologized to his workers for referring to them in a "disrespectful and insulting manner."

"The president accepted Dr. Eric Lander’s resignation letter this evening with gratitude for his work at OSTP on the pandemic, the Cancer Moonshot, climate change, and other key priorities," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. "He knows that Dr. Lander will continue to make important contributions to the scientific community in the years ahead."

Eric Lander participates in a swearing-in ceremony with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in her ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on June 2, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images)
On June 2, 2021, Eric Lander takes part in a swearing-in ceremony with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at her ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) )

Psaki had previously dodged queries on Monday about why Lander had not been dismissed, despite Biden's commitment on his first day in office to remove anybody who treated coworkers disrespectfully.

"If you ever work for me and I overhear you being disrespectful to another coworker or talking down to someone, I guarantee you I will dismiss you right away. Right then and there. There are no ifs, ands, or buts "Biden said.

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