Jackson Staying Put at White House, Official Claims

Alicia Ault

May 01, 2018

After reports that Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, MD, would be leaving the White House after his withdrawal from consideration as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Trump administration says that he is staying put.

Politico, citing two administration officials, was the first to report that Jackson would be stepping down as President Donald J. Trump's personal physician. The news organization said that Sean Conley, MD, a Navy officer, would continue as Trump's physician. Conley took on that role when Jackson became the president's nominee to head the VA.

The White House would not confirm or deny Conley's position. "Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson is currently on active duty, assigned to the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President," said Raj Shah, White House principal deputy press secretary, in a statement emailed to Medscape Medical News.

"Despite published reports, there are no personnel announcements at this time," the statement added.

Jackson withdrew his nomination for VA secretary on April 26, 2 days after Senate VA Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, the panel's ranking Democrat, announced they were looking into claims that Jackson oversaw a hostile work environment as the chief White House physician and that he permitted the overprescribing of drugs.

In a statement provided to Medscape Medical News by the White House, the physician said, "The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated. If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years."

Trump has yet to name a new nominee for the VA secretary position.

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