Tom Price out as HHS Secretary after plane scandal

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned from his post within the Trump administration Friday after it came to light that the former Georgia congressman was using private charter flights at the expense of taxpayers, the White House confirmed in a statement.

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“Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the President accepted,” the statement read.

Don J. Wright, the deputy assistant secretary for health, will step in as acting health secretary in the interim.

In his resignation letter, Price penned that it was “an honor and privilege” to serve under President Trump and called for unity moving forward from his resignation.

“I have spent forty years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first,” he wrote. “I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from those important objectives.”

Price’s resignation comes after Trump said Friday that he was “not happy” with Price’s use of private charter flights. And Friday afternoon while speaking to reporters at the White House, he said that would decide Price’s fate soon.

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Over the course of three days, Price’s charter flight usage reportedly cost taxpayers at least $60,000. And since early May, Price has taken at least 26 flights on charter flights funded by taxpayers’ money, as first reported by Politico.

In the past, Price has criticized members of Congress for using private planes instead of taking commercial flights at a fraction of the cost.

Another nail in the coffin for Price could have been the GOP’s repeated failed efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, one of Trump’s key campaign promises.

 

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