Tom Price Resigns as Secretary of HHS Under Pressure

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price has resigned as Secretary of Health and Human Services and President Trump has accepted his resignation, according to CNN and multiple press reports.

Price’s resignation comes “in the midst of a scandal over his use of private planes,” CNN reports:

Price’s departure came as he’s being investigated by the department’s inspector general for using private jets for multiple government business trips, even to fly distances often as short as from Washington to Philadelphia.

The scandal infuriated Trump, who viewed the controversy as a needless distraction from his agenda. Over the course of the week, Trump fumed to aides about Price’s flights, which he deemed “stupid,” according to multiple sources. Instead of moving past the storm, Price’s offer to reimburse the government for only a fraction of the flights’ costs enraged Trump further.

Price and his aides have insisted that the trips he took by private charter jet had been approved through the usual legal and ethics offices at HHS. But the appearance of a millionaire Cabinet secretary flying routes easily navigated by far cheaper means proved an optics nightmare for an administration already accused of being out of touch with regular Americans.

An acting Secretary of Health and Human Services, Don Wright, will now take over Price’s duties as President Trump begins the process to name Price’s replacement.

Once named, Trump’s designee will face extensive scrutiny in Senate confirmation hearings.

The White House released a short statement, seen here in full:

Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the President accepted. The President intends to designate Don J. Wright of Virginia to serve as Acting Secretary, effective at 11:59 p.m. on September 29, 2017. Mr. Wright currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.


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