- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

President Trump is strongly considering former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar to be the next Health and Human Services secretary, Politico reported.

Mr. Azar would replace Tom Price, who resigned in September after allegedly spending $1 million in taxpayer funds on private travel. Although two White House officials cited in the report said Mr. Azar is the likely choice, another official told Politico nothing is final until Mr. Trump makes the announcement.

Mr. Azar has spent nearly 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry at Eli Lilly and Company as a senior vice president. Prior to that, he served in former President George W. Bush’s administration as general counsel and deputy secretary for HHS.

Mr. Trump said Tuesday he was “more than close” to picking a replacement for Mr. Price, but declined to say who or when the announcement will be made.

“I can’t tell you yet cause we have to do a little bit of vetting,” the president said on “The Brian Kilmeade Show” on Fox News Radio.

Eric Hargan has been acting secretary since Mr. Price’s departure and will serve as deputy secretary when a replacement is chosen.

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