Handwritten Note To Trump Confidante Highlights Influence Of Mar-A-Lago Associates On VA Policies
The note on a federal database for veterans' dental care is the latest example of the outsized influence the "Mar-a-Lago" crowd has in reviewing all manner of VA policy and personnel decisions, including budgeting and contracting.
Trump Mar-A-Lago Buddy Wrote Policy Pitch. The President Sent It to VA Chief.
In late 2017, on one of President Donald Trump’s retreats to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, he caught up with an old friend: Albert Hazzouri. When Hazzouri is not at Mar-a-Lago, he’s a cosmetic dentist in Scranton, Pennsylvania. At a campaign rally there in 2016, Trump gave him a shoutout: “Stand up, Albert. Where the hell are you, Albert? Stand up, Albert. He’s a good golfer, but I’m actually a better golfer than him. Right?” Shortly after Hazzouri and Trump saw each other in late 2017, Hazzouri followed up with a message, scrawled on Mar-a-Lago stationery. (Arnsdorf, 3/6)
In other news —
Des Moines Register:
Veterans Affairs Pays $950,000 To Patient Treated By Ex-Iowa Surgeon
The Department of Veterans Affairs hired the surgeon, Alan Koslow, to work in its Columbia, S.C., hospital in 2015. Koslow previously practiced in Des Moines, where the Iowa Board of Medicine publicly fined him and placed him on probation, accusing him of incompetence and disruptive behavior in October 2015. ...The case is one of several nationally in which VA hospitals have hired physicians who were disciplined in other states. For example, the Iowa City VA hospital acknowledged in 2017 that it improperly hired neurosurgeon John Henry Schneider, even though Schneider's Wyoming medical license had been revoked over malpractice allegations. (Leys, 3/6)
Toxic Chemicals Threaten Water Supply
Testing of nearly 2,700 groundwater wells on or around military installations in recent years has found that 60 percent contained high levels of the chemicals, according to the Department of Defense. Many were probably contaminated by a special firefighting foam used for years by the military. (Abel, 3/6)