Who is Dr. Ronny Jackson, Trump's new pick to head the VA?

Ex-Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin Claims He Was Fired Because Of Privatization

Just hours after David Shulkin became the latest departure from the tumultuous Trump administration, the outgoing Department of Veterans Affairs secretary wrote a New York Times op-ed slamming the culture of Washington, D.C., and suggesting his ouster was the result of political forces in the Trump White House trying to get him out of the way. Mr. Trump announced that he was replacing Shulkin in a series of tweets, and said he would nominate Adm. Ronny Jackson, who had been serving as the president's doctor, to replace him.

Pentagon official Robert Wilkie would serve as interim department chief until Jackson receives Congressional approval, the president added.

A White House official said Dr. Shulkin himself had recommended Jackson for an undersecretary position at the VA last fall, and Trump ultimately decided he was more comfortable with Jackson than with other top candidates.

Speculation mounts that the embattled Veterans Affairs secretary could be the next member of President Trump's administration to be replaced; national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon. Besides its vast health care system, the agency operates 135 national veterans cemeteries and is responsible for distributing monetary benefits to millions of veterans each month.

Ned Price, a National Security Council spokesman under President Barack Obama who was served by Jackson, described the doctor as "the guy you always want to be around" because he's affable and amusing.

For days, the head of the department that coordinates medical and social assistance to retired military veterans had lost the support of Donald Trump.

The report also said that Shulkin improperly accepted tickets to a Wimbledon tennis event in July 2017 and that his time in Europe was misused planning tourist activities for his group.

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"Privatization leading to the dismantling of the department's extensive health care system is a awful idea".

AMVETS, the congressionally-chartered veterans service organization, expressed its deep concerns regarding President Trump's firing of Shulkin and questioned whether the sudden change in leadership at the VA threatens ongoing reforms.

Upon Shulkin's release, Trump stated his appreciation for Shulkin's work passing the VA Accountability Act.

A native of Levelland, Texas, Jackson graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in marine biology and went on to attend medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch, graduating in 1995. He shaped caregiver expansion plans and led efforts to streamline VA community care options.

The advocates within the administration for privatizing VA health services, however, reject this approach.

On Capitol Hill, Jackson's selection was praised by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, warned that he'd better not want to privatize VA health care.

"I stand with them", Sanders said. "I am in the process of reaching out to Dr. Jackson and I look forward to building a strong relationship with him also".

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