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Indian-American Seema Verma might be appointed as new US Health Secretary

US President Donald Trump might replace Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, with Seema Verma the head of government health insurance programs, according to the reports.

Several Media outlets reported on Saturday that the top officials of White House were discussing of removing Azar and that Verma and Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus Task Force were the leading candidates to replace him.
If Seema Verma does get a job, then she will be the second Indian to serve for US federal cabinet.

First was also a woman, Nikki Haley, who was appointed by also Donald Trump as the permanent representative to the UN with cabinet rank and she served for two years.
The reason behind replacing Alex Azar is “irresponsible and a distraction from our whole-of-government response to Covid-19”.

Deputy Press Secretory Judd Deere said, “The Department of Health and Human Services, under the leadership of secretary Azar, continues to lead on a number of the President’s Priorities.”
Azar, who is a lawyer and a former pharmaceutical executive has been mostly sidelined in the Covid-19 situation. Vice Pence has been leading them with two medical scientists Anthony Fauci and Birx taking the limelight.

It is said that Azar annoyed Trump by media portrayal that his suggestion for early action against this situation has been overlooked. He had botched the transfer of Rick Bright, the top official who had to oversee the vaccine development.
Rick Bright’s lawyers had said that he plans to file a whistle-bowler complaint alleged that he was fired for questioning Trump’s favoured Covid-19 treatments like Hydroxychloroquine.

Seema Verma, who head the two government insurance programs, Medicare for seniors and Medicaid for poor. She has appeared at the news with Trump several times, probably more then Azar, she came into the limelight for raising her public profile. Seema Verma oversees the employee-funded Medicare program for 62 million seniors and she oversees the Medicaid program for 70 million poor.

She is also closed with Pence, she worked with him on healthcare reform when he was the governor of Indiana. Verma helped to develop a public healthcare system in Indiana for implementation Obamacare. During this coronavirus situation, she introduced telemedicine to ease the pressure on medical facilities and also coordinating the availability of laboratories for testing Covid-19.

Verma’s mostly background is in policy and administration. Birx is a doctor who has built an international reputation for leading the fight against AIDS, especially in Africa.

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