Vice president’s physician resigns amid ongoing furor over White House Medical Unit

Vice president’s physician resigns amid ongoing furor over White House Medical Unit

Then-White House physician Ronny L. Jackson speaks at a White House press briefing Jan. 16. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

A White House doctor who raised concerns about Ronny L. Jackson, the president’s former physician and scuttled nominee to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, has resigned. 

Jennifer Peña, the vice president’s lead doctor, left her position on Friday, according to a White House spokeswoman.

“The Vice President’s Office was informed today by the White House Medical Unit of the resignation,” Alyssa Farah, the vice president’s spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Physicians assigned to the Vice President report to the White House Medical Unit and thus any resignation would go entirely through the medical unit, not the vice president’s office.”

Peña did not respond to requests for comment.

Peña clashed repeatedly with Jackson, whose nomination to run VA was abandoned amid allegations of liberally prescribing drugs, drinking on the job and creating a hostile workforce, according to a senior White House official.

CNN reported Tuesday that the vice president’s doctor had raised concerns inside the White House that Jackson may have violated patient privacy protections for Pence’s wife and sought to intimidate the doctor during confrontations over the episode. CNN did not name the doctor in the report, saying anonymity was requested as a condition of getting the memos.

A person familiar with the concerns said Peña was the doctor who delineated those concerns. 

Jackson, a Navy rear admiral and former combat physician who served in Iraq, came under scrutiny after the office of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) released a list of allegations about him from more than 20 unnamed current and former work colleagues. 

President Trump has decried the allegations as “not true” and has attacked Tester, who is up for reelection in November. Some of the allegations, including that Jackson crashed a government car after drinking, have been called into doubt by the Secret Service and the White House. 

Officials announced this week that Jackson would not return as Trump’s personal physician but would continue to work within the White House Medical Unit.

Amy Gardner contributed to this report.


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Publish date : 2018-05-04 21:53:15
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