Dr. Jennifer Peña, Vice President Mike Pence’s physician, resigned in wake of the failed nomination of Ronny Jackson to be the secretary of Veteran’s Affairs. Dr. Jackson was nominated by the president to take over the position after VA Secretary David Shulkin left the job but withdrew his candidacy after claims of professional misconduct were made against him.
Dr. Peña, who is a military physician like Jackson, was among the many people who accused Jackson of unprofessional conduct including overprescribing medication, drinking while on duty, and creating a hostile work environment.
In addition, Dr. Peña stated in memos that Jackson could have violated Karen Pence’s patient privacy rights when he shared details of a certain medical event which involved Mrs. Pence with chief of staff John Kelly. CNN first reported on the memos.
Staffers in Vice President Pence’s office as well as the White House were concerned about the accusations. They felt that Peña exaggerated the seriousness of the incident to harm Jackson and his chances to become VA chief.
Jackson stepped down from consideration for the position on April 26 when Montana Senator Jon Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, published document of allegations made by 23 current and former colleagues of Jackson of misconduct.
Jackson no longer works as President Trump’s physician but has returned to work in the White House. The new presidential physician is Dr. Sean Conley, also a Navy officer.