US Department of Health Secretary Tom Price said today that citizens will not have to pay “a penny” for the controversial private flights used on several of their official trips and that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to the coffers of the State.
“Today I will send a personal check to the Treasury Department for expenses incurred for my travel on charter flights. Taxpayers will not have to pay a penny for my seat on these planes, “Price said in a statement that he wanted to settle the controversy.
The scandal erupted last Friday when the Politician newspaper reported that only since May, Mr. Price incurred over $ 300,000 in 24 private flights.
The publication noted that most of these trips occurred between US cities where there are trade routes that could have served the government representative to travel without additional costs to the public purse.
This situation led US President Donald Trump to declare on Wednesday that he was not “pleased” with the secretary’s attitude and hinted that he was weighing the option of dismissing the head of the Health portfolio.
Price, who has acknowledged that he has not been “sufficiently sensitive” to the taxpayers, has undertaken to collaborate with the internal investigation opened by the Department of Health, not to take any private flights again in the exercise of their functions and to pay for these trips out of his own pocket.
A few hours before the orthopedic surgeon and former Republican congresswoman intoned the “mea culpa,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders reported that the government was going to investigate the matter and intended to end this type of abuse.
“It is something we are certainly looking forward to and we have called for an end to the use of charter flights, particularly at the Department of Health,” Sanders said during his regular appearance before the media.
The Price is not the only controversy in which the current Executive has been involved due to the expenses of some of its members.
In late summer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sparked a barrage of criticism for moving with his wife to Kentucky, where he was seen enjoying the total eclipse that could be seen that day from various parts of the country.
Just a few weeks later, Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, had to defend herself against the accusations of passing the bill to the Government of the official trips that she makes in her private plane.