One fact in particular stood out to Surgeon General Jerome Adams about George Floyd: He was a 46-year-old black man, just like Adams. "I really do think that could have been me," Adams tells the Politico Pulse Check podcast. And the same is true for many African-Americans, he adds. "I think really it’s why you have so many people angry and frustrated, because they saw that,” he says. "And they didn't see George Floyd alone. They saw themselves. They saw their faces there with that knee on their necks."
Adams says he's been the repeated target of racial profiling all through his life, especially when he's not in his surgeon general's uniform but in everyday clothes. "That could be me, pulled over for speeding five miles over the speed limit," he says. "That could be me with a busted tail light." The comments echoed those from earlier this month by Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, a 65-year-old black man. “What the African-American community sees in that videotape is that this African-American man, who could be me or any other African-American man, is being treated as less than human,” Frazier told CNBC. (Read more George Floyd stories.)