Azar Has Been Embroiled In Controversy Over Personal Feuds. Now The Spotlight Is Even Harsher.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar was already on thin ice before the pandemic started because of the messy and public feud between him and CMS administrator Seema Verma. Now he's under intense scrutiny, and despite the fact that President Donald Trump vouched for the quality of his work, many believe he could have a target on his back.
The New York Times:
Coronavirus Has Trump Health Secretary In Trouble
Two of President Trump’s top health officials were stewing last month in a drab room at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta as Mr. Trump and his health secretary, Alex M. Azar II, were concluding a laboratory tour, one that they had been left off of. One of the officials, Dr. Jerome M. Adams, the surgeon general, was then invited to join the president and the secretary to shake hands. The other, Seema Verma, who leads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was not. Instead, a staff member told the powerful Medicare chief to head to the receiving line with the rank and file. Furious, she left for the airport to catch a commercial flight home to Washington. (Weiland, Haberman and Shear, 4/29)
In other news from the administration —
'Dangerous And Disrespectful': Doctors Tear Into Pence's Mask-Less Hospital Visit
Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to wear a mask during his visit to the prestigious Mayo Clinic this week was potentially dangerous and sent the wrong message about the federal guidelines he regularly touts, doctors and health care officials said. Wearing a mask reduces disease transmission and protects both the wearer and the people around them, said Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and global health policy expert who is an NBC News and MSNBC contributor. (Timm and Gregorian, 4/29)