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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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OCTOBER 1, 2017

     You have to pay when you make a major mistake.  Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned on Friday amid widespread criticism of his private plane trips, becoming the first Trump Cabinet secretary to leave the administration. “Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the president accepted,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

     The White House said Trump will designate Don J. Wright as acting secretary. Wright currently serves as deputy assistant secretary for health and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. President Trump for days has given indications he was considering firing Price over the plane controversy. Shortly before the brief White House statement late Friday, the president told reporters, “He’s a very fine man, but we’re going to make a decision sometime tonight.”

     Last week, it was revealed that Price flew on charters to visit community health centers in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. One leg was from Dulles International Airport in the Washington suburbs to Philadelphia International Airport, a distance of 135 miles.  Politico reported that he also took a government-funded private jet in August to St. Simons Island, a Georgia resort where his family owns land, ahead of an address at a medical conference.  The outlet also reported this week that he took military aircraft for official trips to Africa, Europe and Asia, costing taxpayers more than $500,000.  Price said Thursday that he would reimburse the government for a portion of the costly charter flights he used to travel to various engagements at taxpayer expense.

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