“White House officials drew up a short list of potential replacements for Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Medicare chief Seema Verma at the height of their contentious feud in case either was forced out late last year, three people with knowledge of the exercise told POLITICO.”
“The officials developed the list days after the increasingly personal clash between Azar and Verma spilled into public view following a Nov. 26 POLITICO report that first detailed their rift. Two people with knowledge stressed that the names were not shared with President Donald Trump and that Azar and Verma are expected to remain in their roles through at least the rest of Trump’s first term…”
“Still, the previously unreported effort to identify possible replacements shows the extent to which White House officials were planning for the possibility that Trump’s top two health officials would abruptly leave the administration heading into an election year.”
“White House officials sought candidates qualified to serve as an acting leader through the rest of Trump’s first term and potentially survive a Senate confirmation process. They also considered whether candidates aligned with Trump’s political views, said one person familiar with the matter…” Read the full article here.
Source: White House prepared short list to shake up HHS leadership – By Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn, January 22, 2020. POLITICO.