US Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has resigned from his post, amidst fierce controversy over his use of private jets to travel on business trips.
Price, a former surgeon with an estimated wealth of $14m, is currently under investigation by watchdog authorities in the US, after choosing to fly on private jets on routes covered by commercial airlines and clocking up a $400,000 bill in chartered aircraft. As comparison, Price’s predecessors in the Obama administration, Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Kathleen Sebelius, always flew commercial.
Mr. Price’s actions, while far from unique among top political figures in the Trump administration, have further eroded public confidence in the changes proposed by Mr. Trump, particularly the ‘drain the swamp’ pledge.
The scandal echoes a similar misdeed here in Ireland back in 2001, by the then Minister for Health Mary Harney. In that instance, Ms. Harney availed of an Air Corps plane to attend the opening of a friend’s off-licence in Co. Leitrim.
Ms. Harney did not resign over the controversy.