U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned on Friday amid continuing controversy over his frequent use of government-funded private jets, the White House says.
“Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the President accepted,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, just over an hour after Trump said he would make a decision on whether to fire Price.
Price’s resignation is effective at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, when Don J. Wright from Virginia will take over as acting secretary. Wright had been serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Friday’s resignation came just a day after Price promised to partially repay the government for the expenses of his travel and said he would stop using private jets. Price is reported to have traveled on private and military jets dozens of times since taking over, costing taxpayers more than $1 million.
News about the flights provoked controversy at a time when the Trump administration is seeking to cut the department’s budget, even though the secretary’s flights do not appear to have violated federal regulations. Trump said on Wednesday that he was “not happy” about Price’s use of private jets.
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