Communities

Trump’s VA Pick Allegedly ‘Drank On The Job,’ Making His Appointment Uncertain 

by Tod Perry

April 24, 2018

President Trump has consistently hired unqualified people for major cabinet posts. He chose a brain surgeon to head Housing and Urban Development, a Republican donor to lead the Department of Education, and a climate-change skeptic to head the Environmental Protection Agency. 

His latest appointment of Ronny Jackson to head the Department of Veterans’ Affairs not only is unqualified, but also has some serious character concerns. Jackson’s appointment now seems to be in trouble after allegations have arisen that he oversaw a hostile work environment, drank excessively on the job, and over-prescribed pills. Trump has even hinted that Jackson may withdraw his nomination.

Jackson, who currently serves as the White House physician — and he did so under President Obama — first caught the public’s attention after painting a suspiciously rosy picture of the president’s health last January. His glowing review was curious given the president’s questionable eating habits. 

“He has incredibly good genes, and it’s just the way God made him,” Jackson said. His mention of the president’s genetics raised some red flags. The Trump family has a long history of boasting about their genetic superiority. 

Jackson has headed medical units in Iraq and the White House, but that’s nothing compared to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA is the second largest department in the federal government, employing more than 370,000 people. The VA has come under intense scrutiny over the past few years over its lengthy wait times and lack of funding.

Veterans Affairs’ committee chairman Johnny Isakson and Sen. John Tester sent a letter to President Trump on Tuesday, April 24, requesting additional documentation related to Jackson’s tenure in the White House.

“We take very seriously our constitutional duty to thoroughly and carefully vet each nominee sent to the Senate for confirmation,” the pair said in a statement. “We will continue looking into these serious allegations and have requested additional information from the White House to enable the committee to conduct a full review.”

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, of Hawaii, a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said she had “deep concerns” about Jackson. “This is concerning even for a very ethically challenging White House,” she said.

Trump’s appointment of Jackson continues the president’s pattern of rewarding loyalty instead of merit, a move that seems to be fueled by his own sense of personal political survival. Now countless lives of veterans are in jeopardy, despite Trump’s vow to “take care of our veterans like they’ve never been taken care of before.”

Share image via The Associated Press/YouTube.

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Trump’s VA Pick Allegedly ‘Drank On The Job,’ Making His Appointment Uncertain