HHS Secretary Price Resigns After Criticism of Plane Travel

Heads of CMS, FDA are among the potential replacements.

Shawna Williams
Shawna Williams

Shawna joined The Scientist in 2017 and is now a senior editor and news director. She holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Colorado College and a graduate certificate and science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Tom PriceFLICKR, MARK TAYLORJust eight days after Politico broke the story of his frequent use of private charter planes on the taxpayers’ dime, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, resigned on Friday (September 29). The pattern of using private charter rather than commercial flights, which Politico called a “sharp departure from his two immediate predecessors,” had drawn criticism from Democratic lawmakers, and a letter from the House Oversight Committee to Price stated it was “examining the extent to which non-career officials at federal departments and agencies either use government-owned aircraft for personal travel or private non-commercial aircraft for official travel,” CNN reports.

Even before the story of the private plane travel emerged, Trump had voiced unhappiness with Price. CBS reports that he said in a speech to the National Scout Jamboree in July that if Price wasn’t able to get Congress to repeal and...

The Associated Press reports that Don Wright, a deputy assistant secretary of health, has been named the interim secretary until a replacement is nominated and confirmed. The wire service names Seema Verma, the current head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb as possible candidates for the position.

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