In a Monday morning tweet, President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Alex Azar to succeed Tom Price in the position of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary.
During the last day of his tour of Asia, Trump made the announcement:
Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary. He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2017
Azar received the nomination in part because of his experience as a former pharmaceutical executive and his time spent working with the George W. Bush administration as a top health official.
According to The Washington Post, Azar led the biomedicines division of Lilly USA, the biggest affiliate of Eli Lilly and Co. Under then-President Bush, he aided in the administration’s response to the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent anthrax attacks.
Azar, if confirmed, would replace Tom Price, who stepped down in September amid controversy over his use of non-commercial flights when traveling for official business. As a result of his actions, Price accrued upward of $1 million in expenses.
Many Republicans — not to mention many within the HHS Department — support the nomination of Azar.
Mike Leavitt, the HHS secretary under George W. Bush and someone who worked closely with Azar, said, “If the president is looking for an experienced, competent conservative who is confirmable, Alex would be a great choice.”