Inspector General of HHS expected to be Replaced

Inspector General of HHS expected

Nomination submitted by President Trump for new Inspector General of HHS

President Trump is planning to replace the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) several weeks after she issued a report critical of the administration’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a little-noticed announcement Friday evening, Trump nominated Jason Weida, an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston, for the post. The nomination must be approved by the Senate.

Weida, who had previously worked on healthcare litigation in private practice and also clerked for a federal appeals court judge, would replace Christi Grimm, who became inspector general in January. Grimm came to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in 1999 and worked under the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Trump’s action is widely thought to come in response to a report published by Grimm’s office on April 6, which included interviews with 323 hospital administrators, and found that hospitals continued to wrestle with shortages of supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE), and that some of the supplies hospitals received from state and federal stockpiles were of insufficient quantity and quality.

At a White House press briefing, Trump was asked by a reporter about the report, specifically about the administrators complaining about shortages of tests and testing supplies. “It’s wrong,” he said. “Did I hear the word ‘inspector general?’ It’s wrong. All I can tell you is this … We’ve done more testing and had more results than any country anywhere in the world. We’re doing an incredible job. Give me the name of the inspector general. Could politics be entered into that?”

Another reporter then followed up with Grimm’s name, and Trump asked when she was appointed. Told that he had appointed her to the job this past January, he said, “We are doing an incredible job on testing … there’s nobody close. And other nations have admitted this.” As for the testing issue and the report, “we’re going to take a look at it,” he said.

SOURCE: MedPage Today

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