As President-elect Donald Trump continues to fill up administration roles, a vital position that Trump deeply advocates has yet to be fulfilled: the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. According to transition spokesman Sean Spicer, a Navy veteran, overhauling the VA is an area “that’s near and dear to [Trump’s] heart and one that he really wants to make sure is addressed appropriately, quickly and successfully.”
Considering Trump’s passionate take on selecting someone to fill the role, it’s been reported that the president-elect has narrowed his picks down to three people to take on the coveted position.
The first option is Cleveland Clinic Chief Executive Officer Delos “Toby” Cosgrove. The clinic’s CEO since 2003, was asked to head and revamp the flailing VA department back in 2014 by President Obama following the firing of Eric Shinseki. Shinseki had conducted federal malpractices of treatment delays, general mismanagement and falsified records at government-run hospitals and clinics for veterans. Despite the tempting offer, Cosgrove declined due to his responsibilities at the clinic.
As CEO of a multi-billion dollar system and one of Ohio’s largest employers, Cosgrove has expanded his clinic outside of Cleveland to 75 other locations, such as Florida, Las Vegas, Toronto and Abu Dhabi. Cosgrove is also a serving as a member of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.
Trump’s second pick is Luis Quinonez, the chief executive officer of IQ Management Services. His multi-billion dollar company provides health-care services to the military, and has a network and working staff of 25,000 physicians and 8,000 pharmacists. Quinonez is originally from Guatemala, served in Vietnam, and is an active member of the Republican Party.
Quinonez, as well as Cosgrove, was invited to meet with Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, where he’s spending the Christmas holiday. Trump’s third possible pick for consideration is U.S. Navy Admiral Michelle Howard. She is the first black woman to command a Navy ship.
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