After days of scandal, Dr. Ronny Jackson has withdrawn his consideration as head of Veteran Affairs. Learn more about the White House physician and Trump’s nominee!
1. He’s embroiled in a major scandal, involving allegations of misconduct during his time in the White House doctor. Senate Democrats released a two-page document on Wednesday, April 25, regarding White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson — the same day he was expected to appear before Congress for his confirmation hearing to become the head of the Department of Veteran Affairs. The document included a list of allegations relayed to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee from Jackson’s former and current colleagues, including being allegedly “abusive” to them, and loosely handling prescription pain medications (reportedly including opioids). The claims are unsubstantiated and are under investigation by lawmakers.
Another allegation from the report claims Jackson was routinely intoxicated, in one incident during the Obama administration even allegedly becoming so drunk that he wrecked a government vehicle. Jackson hasn’t responded to all of the allegations, but told reporters on April 25 that he didn’t wreck the government car, and, in fact, had never been in a car accident.
2. Dr. Jackson withdrew his nomination, citing ‘baseless claims” against him. He announced in a statement on April 26 that in light of the uproar about his alleged past indiscretions while serving as the White House physician, he would no longer like to be under consideration to be the head of the Veteran Affairs department. “Going into this process, I expected tough questions about how to best care for our veterans, but I did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity,” he said via statement. “The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated.
“If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years,” he continued. “In my role as a doctor, I have tirelessly worked to provide excellent care for all my patients. In doing so, I have always adhered to the highest ethical standards. Unfortunately, because of how Washington works, these false allegations have become a distraction for this President and the important issue we must be addressing – how we give the best care to our nation’s heroes.”
3. He’s served as the White House physician under three administrations. Jackson became the White House doctor in 2006, under former President George W. Bush. He then served under former President Barack Obama, and now, President Donald Trump. His status as White House physician is unclear in light of his current scandal.
4. He made headlines after announcing the results of Trump’s annual physical. Dr. Jackson’s better known as the guy who said Trump’s cognitive health was so amazing, that he could “live to be 200” if he cut down on eating fast food. He also said that Trump’s weight was 239 lbs. — just a pound shy of the clinical requirement for obesity. People were not buying the results.
5. President Trump blamed Democrats for Dr. Jackson’s withdrawal. Trump called into Fox and Friends shortly after Jackson’s statement dropped, and declared that he knew he was going to withdraw. He added a little in there about this being the Democrats’ fault, of course. He said that Jackson got mowed over by the Dems because he’s “not political, which I liked.”
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