Trump fires VA Secretary Shulkin, nominates WH doctor as replacement
(Sourced from PTI)
US President Donald Trump today fired his Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and nominated White House physician, Admiral Ronny Jackson as his replacement. Trump made the announcement on micro-blogging site Twitter. "I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs," Trump tweeted. Here are more details.
Later, Trump issued a statement thanking Shulkin for his services. "I appreciate the work of Dr. David Shulkin and the many great things we did together at Veterans Affairs, including the VA Accountability Act that he was helpful in getting passed. He has been a great supporter of veterans across the country and I am grateful for his service," Trump said in a statement.
Early this month, Trump had unceremoniously fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominated Mike Pompeo, the CIA Director, for the top diplomatic position in his cabinet. Both the cabinet positions need to be confirmed by US Senate. "In the interim, Hon. Robert Wilkie of DOD will serve as Acting Secretary. I am thankful for Dr. David Shulkin's service to our country," Trump said.
Trump said Jackson was highly trained and qualified. "As a service member himself, he has seen firsthand the tremendous sacrifice our veterans make and has a deep appreciation for the debt our great country owes them," he said in a separate statement.
Jackson has served as the White House physician during the three administrations of Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. In White House, Jackson has directed the Executive Health Care for the President's Cabinet and Senior Staff. He served as physician supervisor for the Camp David Presidential Retreat. He also led the White House Medical Unit as its Director.
The opposition Democratic Party expressed concern over the firing of Shulkin. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called Shulkin's dismissal "a troubling step in the Trump Administration's ultimate goal of VA (Veterans Affairs) privatization". "From day one of this administration, the President has openly encouraged and embraced Koch Brothers-led forces as they work around Congress and behind closed doors to dismantle veterans' health care," Pelosi said.
Senator Johnny Isakson, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said Shulkin had made a tremendous impact toward improving the lives of veterans during his time at US Department of Veterans Affairs. "He has been instrumental in all that we have accomplished in the last year, and I thank Dr. Shulkin for his dedicated service to our country and our veterans," he said.