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 Trump Names Hargan New Acting Head of HHS

President Trump on Oct. 10 named Eric Hargan the new acting secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), just one week after the Senate confirmed Hargan for the No. 2 deputy secretary position with the agency.

Hargan will assume the reins from Don Wright who took over as acting HHS secretary on Sept. 29 after Tom Price resigned that day. Price, a former congressman from Georgia, was under intense pressure to quit after media reports publicized his use of private air travel at a cost of nearly $1 million to taxpayers.
 
Before coming to Washington, D.C., Hargan worked as a lawyer in Chicago. His previous experience in government includes various positions at HHS under the George W. Bush administration. Hargan also served as part of Trump’s HHS transition team.
 
The Senate last week confirmed Hargan on a mostly party-line vote of 57 to 38 for the deputy HHS secretary slot.
 
Even with the announcement on a new acting head, the Trump administration will continue to seek a full-time HHS secretary. Leading candidates remain Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services who has long-time ties from her days in Indiana with Vice President Mike Pence.
 
Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is also in the mix, according to various media reports, though he has downplayed such talk by saying he is focused on his FDA role.
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