President Donald Trump’s physician Doctor Ronny Jackson has been embroiled in a controversy after allegations that he had been lax with prescription drugs and drank alcohol on the job.
It has now emerged Vice President Mike Pence’s Army physician Dr. Jennifer Pena raised alarms privately within the White House and accused Jackson of medical misconduct and intimidated her during angry confrontations over the episode.
She reportedly wrote a memo last year in which she made the allegations. The memo detailed that Jackson violated federal privacy protections for second lady Karen Pence and interfered in her medical situation which occurred on Sept. 2017 when she had to be taken from Camp David to Walter Reed Medical Center.
Pena also told White House officials that the episode made her feel “uncomfortable” to a point that she thought of resigning from her job. She further wrote Jackson told her to “let the issue go” and to “let things go ... if I am to succeed in my career.”
The memo further read, “This meeting summoned by Dr. Jackson appears to have been in retribution for me verbalizing concerns over the protection of the SLOTUS' medical information and his inappropriate involvement in the decision-making process of her care, which is consistent with previous behavior that I have received from him in the past. This unprofessionalism fosters a negative command climate that removes any opportunity for open, professional discussion.”
The account by Pena also said that not only did Jackson intervened in the matter but he also shared confidential information with other medical providers and “multiple parties.”
The second lady was informed of the situation and she “expressed concerns over the potential breach of privacy of her medical condition.”
She directed her physician to inform Pence’s top aide Nick Ayers and asked him to take the matter up to White House chief of staff John Kelly. Ayers was reportedly asked to channelize the entire process through medical and military commands.
Despite the account, White House has said the incident was simply a dispute between the two doctors resulting from a “strained relationship.”
The allegations by Pena add up to the ongoing controversy involving Jackson. President Donald Trump nominated Jackson to head Veterans Affairs. However, the allegations, which Jackson categorically denied as false, prompted the Senate to put a hold on his hearing for the job of leading the federal government’s second largest department.
Jackson is a U.S. Navy rear admiral who has been physician to three presidents.
Democrats said more than 20 people, whose names they withheld, said Jackson had prescribed himself medications, got drunk at a Secret Service party, wrecked a government vehicle and once could not be reached on a work trip to provide medical treatment because he was passed out drunk in a hotel room.
Following the revelations, Trump backtracked on Jackson. On the other hand, Jackson is not willing to back down from his nomination. He was present on Capitol Hill meeting with senators, hoping for a confirmation.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Joshua Roberts