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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)


    Tom Price resigns as Health and Human Services secretary


    Sep 29, 2017, 5:40 PM ET

    ip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    WATCH Tom Price resigns as Health and Human Services secretary

    Tom Price, President Donald Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services, resigned from his post today after it was revealed that he had repeatedly chartered private planes for government travel.

    A senior-level source with direct knowledge of the situation told ABC News that Trump asked Price for his resignation.

    In a letter to Trump, Price wrote that he regretted that "recent events have created a distraction" from the administration's objectives, and that he was resigning in order for the president "to move forward without further disruption."

    "Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the president accepted," read a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, adding that Trump intends to designate Don Wright, the current deputy assistant secretary for health and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion as acting secretary.

    The revelation about Price's trips drew widespread criticism from Democrats and an investigation was launched last week by the HHS Office of Inspector General. Price took as many as 26 private flights and flew on military planes on trips to Europe and Africa at an estimated cost to taxpayers of over $1 million, according to Politico.

    Inspector general investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price's private jet travel

    Treasury Secretary Mnuchin requested government jet for European honeymoon

    Earlier in the day, Trump teased a decision on Price's status to reporters, saying would decide by the end of the day whether he might fire the secretary. He repeated that he was "not happy" about the secretary's travel, a position he first shared Wednesday.

    On Thursday, Price expressed regret over his trips and pledged to reimburse the government for his portion of the cost of the chartered jets. A HHS spokesperson declined to comment in the wake of the resignation on whether the former secretary still intended to follow through on the promise.

    A source with knowledge of Price's intentions earlier said that he would pay $51,887.31 for the flights, just a fraction of the over $400,000 that the chartered flights were said to have cost. Military flights to Africa, Asia and Europe, on which Price was joined by his wife, pushed the total over the $1 million figure, according to Politico.

    The resignation comes three days after Senate Republicans announced they would not hold a vote this week on the party's latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Graham-Cassidy bill. Price played an integral role in promoting the administration's thus far unsuccessful efforts to roll back the Democratic health care legislation passed under the Obama administration.

    Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

    Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and President Donald Trump arrive at the US Capitol to meet with the Republican House Conference, March 12, 2017.more +Last Friday, the HHS Office of Inspector General confirmed its inquiry into Price's flights, noting it was focused "on whether the travel complied with Federal Travel Regulations, but may encompass other issues related to the travel."

    "We take this matter very seriously, and when questions arose about potentially inappropriate travel, we immediately began assessing the issue," read a statement from the office.

    After last week's report, a collection of congressional Democrats authored a letter to the inspector general requesting an investigation. The Department of Health and Human Services maintained that Price "used charter aircraft for official business in order to accommodate his demanding schedule."

    During his short tenure leading HHS and during his time in Congress, Price gained a reputation as an outspoken critic of government excess. In 2009, while still serving in the House, Price characterized a proposal to spend $550 million of government planes for government officials and members of Congress as "fiscal irresponsibility."

    Prior to his nomination by Trump in November to join the Cabinet, Price served six terms as the U.S. representative of Georgia's 6th Congressional District, rising to the chairmanship of the House Budget Committee in 2015. Prior to his political career, Price worked as an orthopedic surgeon.

    He was narrowly confirmed as secretary by a 52-47 margin in February.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    This is some background information on the new Acting Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services, Don Wright.

    Don Wright, M.D., M.P.H.
    Portrait of Dr. Don Wright, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health.
    Acting Assistant Secretary for Health
    E-mail Address:
    Phone Number:
    (202) 690-7694

    Don Wright, M.D., M.P.H., was named Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 10, 2017. The Assistant Secretary for Health leads development of HHS-wide public health policy recommendations, oversees 12 core public health offices — including the Office of the Surgeon General – and 11 advisory committees.

    Dr. Wright is also the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), a position he has held since January 3, 2012.

    From 2007 to 2009, he was the HHS Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health. During this time, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the alternate U.S. delegate to the World Health Organization Executive Board.

    As director of ODPHP, Dr. Wright leads the coordination and policy development for public health and prevention activities within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. ODPHP is responsible for Healthy People program, a framework for public health priorities and actions laid out in a comprehensive set of 10-year national health objectives, as well as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Physical Guidelines for Americans. Currently, Dr. Wright also is serving at the Acting Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Prior to joining ODPHP, Dr. Wright served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Healthcare Quality. Earlier, he was Director of the Office of Occupational Medicine for the U.S. Department of Labor, where he built strong governmental and non-governmental partnerships addressing safety and health.

    Dr. Wright received an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University, a medical degree from the University of Texas, and a master’s degree in public health from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed his family medicine residency training at Baylor College of Medicine and is board-certified in both Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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