As we previously reported here at TFPP, President-elect Donald Trump’s team had noted the importance of and as such, the difficulty of, choosing a Department of Veterans Affairs secretary. During his remarks at a press conference Wednesday, Trump announced his choice of Dr. David J. Shulkin to fill the role.
United Press International reported:
Shulkin is currently the Veterans Administration’s undersecretary for health, a position making him leader of the nation’s largest integrated health system. He was nominated to the post by President Barack Obama in 2015. Prior to his appointment he served as CEO of New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center.
“I appointed today the head secretary of the Veterans Administration, David Shulkin,” Trump announced at Trump Tower in New York during a press conference.
“We’ll do a news release in a little while, I’ll tell you about David, he’s fantastic. He’s fantastic. He will do a truly great job. One of the commitments I’ve made is that we’re going to straighten out the whole situation for our veterans.”
As CNN reported, Shulkin’s current role as VA undersecretary for health required him to oversee over 1,700 health care sites in the U.S.
With this announcement, Trump has now nominated 20 out of 21 cabinet posts with the secretary of agriculture as the last choice to be made there.
After the announcement of the pick, Trump released a statement in which he said that Shulkin will “lead the turnaround” of the VA.
“Sadly our great veterans have not gotten the level of care they deserve, but Dr. Shulkin has the experience and the vision to ensure we will meet the healthcare needs of every veteran,” Trump said via a statement. “Dr. Shulkin is an incredibly gifted doctor who is using his elite talents for medicine to care for our heroes, and Americans can have faith he will get the job done right.”
Shulkin noted in a statement that he is “eager to reform” the veterans’ health care agency.
“President-elect Trump’s commitment to caring for our veterans is unquestionable, and he is eager to support the best practices for care and provide our Veterans Affairs’ teams with the resources they need to improve health outcomes. We are both eager to begin reforming the areas in our Veterans Affairs system that need critical attention, and do it in a swift, thoughtful and responsible way,” Shulkin said.