Paying the Price: HHS Secretary Steps Down Amid Scandal
Department of Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price resigned from his post Friday amid an investigation into his use of private jets at taxpayer expense.
The government spent more than $1 million for Price’s travel on private and military aircraft since May, according to Politico, which first reported on the secretary’s travel habits. Those trips included 26 charter flights within the United States, and additional travel on military aircraft to Africa, Asia, and Europe, Politico reported.
The White House issued a terse statement Friday afternoon announcing the designation of acting secretary Don J. Wright, currently the deputy assistant secretary for health and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
“Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the president accepted,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the statement.
Price had volunteered to pay back nearly $52,000 in travel expenses on Thursday, but that was before Politico broke the news of the overseas military travel. The now-former secretary left the House of Representatives, representing Georgia’s 6th district, to accept the post in the Trump administration.
Earlier in the day Friday, the President had indicated that he would make a decision about Price’s continued employment as HHS secretary by tonight.
Written by Alex Spanko