Trump turns to drug industry for new health secretary
WASHINGTON (AP) — Turning to an industry he rebuked, President Donald Trump on Monday picked a former top pharmaceutical and government executive to be his health secretary.
If confirmed, Alex Azar would oversee a $1 trillion department responsible for major health insurance programs, including Obamacare, as well as medical research, food and drug safety and public health.
Azar’s nomination is unusual because Health and Human Services secretaries have come from the ranks of elected officials such as governors, leaders in academia and medicine, or top executive branch managers — not industries regulated by the department.
“He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!” Trump tweeted in a morning announcement. Trump has a track record of making industry-friendly nominations, such as former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and wealthy investor Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce.