In an earlier piece, as I covered some of the concerns about the fitness of President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson.
In one particular piece, there was a nickname allegedly given to Jackson by White House medical staff – “the candy man.”
According to the allegations being brought to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Jackson would hand out pills “like candy,” earning the nickname.
I made a comment about the dangers of “King Percocet,” without really knowing the full story behind the allegations.
Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Trump’s pick for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, allegedly gave out a large supply of the opioid painkiller Percocet to a White House military staff member.
The White House medical staff was “thrown into a panic” when it could not account for missing supply of the drug.
It later discovered Jackson had supplied a large amount to a staffer and had private stocks of controlled substances, according to a report of allegations compiled by staff for Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Yeah. I know people who have been ravaged by addiction to pills, and Percocet is a favorite.
Jackson is facing an uphill climb on his path to becoming the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He has vowed to keep at it, rather than to do what others have done and withdraw his name.
There have been instances where that seems like the appropriate strategy, but if any of the claims against Jackson are true, this would not be one of those instances.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee released a list of complaints from 23 current and former colleagues of Jackson.
Here are some highlights:
Physicians, physician assistants, and nurses have described a pattern of handing out Ambien (to sleep) and Provigil (to wake up) without triaging patient history (no intakes, no questionnaires) on Air Force One. These are controlled substances that require tracking.
A nurse noted that Jackson wrote himself scripts. When caught, he had someone else (his PA) do it.
Speaking of the reported “hostile work environment”:
Jackson was described as “the most unethical person I have ever worked with”, “flat-out unethical”,“explosive”, “100 percent bad temper”, “toxic”, “abusive”, “volatile”, “incapable of not losing histemper”, “the worst officer I have ever served with”, “despicable”, “dishonest”,
as having “screaming tantrums” and “screaming fits”, as someone who would “lose his mind over small lthings”, “vindictive”, “belittling”, “the worse leader I’ve ever worked for.” Day-to-day environment was like “walking on eggshells.”
As Jackson gained power he became “intolerable.”
One physician said, “I have no faith in government that someone like Jackson could be end up at VA.”
A nurse stated, “this [working at WHMU] should have been the highlight of my military career but it was my worst assignment.” Another stated that working at WHMU was the “worst experience of my life.”
Jackson was viewed as someone who “would roll over anyone”, “worked his way up on the backs of others”, “was a suck up to those above him and abusive to those below him”, a “kiss up, kick down boss”, “put his needs above everyone else’s.”
In regards to his drunken episodes, there were multiple problems on overseas trips, and on one occasion, he wrecked a government vehicle while driving drunk.
You can see the full list of complaints here.
The allegations are troublesome. At the very least, he requires further vetting before turning over the reins of control of the VA to someone who may be both unethical and out of control.