Looming Implosion of Trump Nominee to Veterans Administration Harms Strapped AFGE Members

Earlier this month, American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr., a former Veterans Administration nurse, called -- yet again -- for the federal government to fund the VA at a level that allows nurses and others in VA hospitals to do their jobs as they were trained to do. Cox decried congressional neglect of the VA. 

In a Facebook post, he said, "We've had rallies, pickets, press calls, social media campaigns, town halls, and anything else we could think of to bring awareness to the staggering number of vacancies within the VA. To fix the VA and provide veterans with the care they deserve, staff the VA! Fully fund the VA!" 

Today could not have done much to breed optimism among our Brothers and Sisters in AFGE who work to their limits and beyond to improve the lives of veterans. In a truly stunning development, President Trump put some serious distance between the nominee and the White House.

This New York Times report is what happens when a crucial appointment goes forward without real vetting or a scintilla of common sense. Meanwhile, the VA system continues to languish:

President Trump acknowledged Tuesday that Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, his nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, is in serious trouble amid allegations that he oversaw a hostile work environment as the White House doctor, allowed the overprescribing of drugs and possibly drank on the job.

Speaking at a news conference with the president of France, Mr. Trump strongly defended Dr. Jackson, the current White House physician, as "one of the finest people that I have met," but he hinted that Dr. Jackson might soon withdraw from consideration, blaming Democrats for mounting an unfair attack on his nominee's record.

"I don't want to put a man through a process like this," Mr. Trump said, calling the allegations about Dr. Jackson "ugly." The president said, "The fact is, I wouldn't do it. What does he need it for? To be abused by a number of politicians?" 

"It's totally his decision," Mr. Trump added, saying that he had talked with Dr. Jackson earlier in the day.

The concern over Dr. Jackson's nomination is bipartisan. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee launched an investigation into Dr. Jackson's White House work record last week, and the committee's Republican and Democratic leaders jointly announced on Tuesday that Dr. Jackson's confirmation hearing, planned for this Wednesday, would be postponed indefinitely "in light of new information presented to the committee." 

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