WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed concern over President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.
“The abrupt dismissal of Secretary Shulkin is a troubling step in the Trump Administration’s ultimate goal of VA privatization,” Pelosi said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
Trump announced Shulkin’s dismissal via tweet Wednesday evening. The president said in the tweet that he nominated White House physician Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson as Shulkin’s successor.
….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 and to our GREAT VETERANS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
Pelosi said of Jackson: “The lack of VA leadership experience in Secretary Shulkin’s successor at such a critical time for the institution is concerning, but Democrats hope to work closely with him to ensure that VA’s transformation continues its course.”
Shulkin was considered one of Trump’s least controversial cabinet picks. Shulkin served as Deputy VA Secretary during the Obama administration and last year was confirmed by the Senate in a unanimous vote.
The VA has been plagued by scandal in recent years and many veterans were subjected excessive delays before seeing a physician and reports emerged stating that some had even died because they were not able to see a physician until it was too late.
Shulkin opposed privatizing the VA. As Secretary he worked to resolve inefficiencies within the agency and its hospital system.