Amid the continuing anger by President Trump and his administration over the disastrous, failed nomination of his pliable and lush physician Dr. Ronny Jackson to head the Veterans Administration – even though he had no qualifications for the job – Vice President Pence’s government-appointed physician Dr. Jennifer Peña has “resigned” under pressure.
Trump can rail against Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), who he blames for the embarrassing debacle surrounding devastating accusations that Jackson drank on duty, over-prescribed prescription drugs and created a hostile work environment, but the president can’t do anything but ask people to vote Tester out in the next election.
However, Trump and Pence can attack a highly qualified woman physician who works for them in the White House because she was one of those who, according to Politico, “detailed claims of professional misconduct against Jackson to senators considering his nomination.”
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“Peña claimed in memos that Jackson may have violated (Vice President Mike Pence’s wife) Karen Pence’s patient privacy rights by sharing details of a medical incident involving the second lady to Chief of Staff John Kelly,” reports Politico.
“The allegations were troubling to many in Pence’s office and the White House,” adds Politico, “who felt that Peña misrepresented the severity of the situation in an effort to harm Jackson, according to the person familiar with the situation.”
Crucially, it appears that the demand for Dr. Peña’s resignation was issued by the White House medical unit and not by Vice-President Pence’s team.
Knowing Trump and his insatiable drive for vengeance, this is clearly an act of political punishment against a woman who dared to speak out against the President’s entirely unqualified nominee.
One only has to look at how the right-wing propaganda machine has mobilized to smear and besmirch her good name.
Dr. Jennifer Pena has RESIGNED! She was next in line after Admiral Ronny Jackson to be Trumps physician. She’s reportedly member of NXIVM sex cult, & worked with MT Sen. Tester to slander the Admiral to get next to Trump #MAGA https://t.co/odOxSNVZFI
— Ken Jones (@sxdoc) May 4, 2018
Peña, in fact, appears to have an excellent record in the Army and in the White House, as well as superb medical credentials. According to her Linkedin profile, she has been in the Army since 2008 and has served in the White House since 2014, and became a physician to the VP a year and five months ago.
She was educated at Yale University, the University of Pittsburgh Medical school and did her residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
There were more than two dozen people who came forward to talk about Dr. Jackson’s problems and fallings but none of them work close enough to Trump and Pence to be victims of their petty ire – but Dr. Peña was front and center.
There are many examples of how petty Trump (and Pence) can be, and the revolving door at the White House shows how little they value the good people who do get jobs there but fail some kind of secret loyalty test.
In this case, a good doctor is the fall person for the fact Trump made a poor choice for the VA job and once again did not properly vet his chosen candidate before announcing the nomination and picked someone whose only qualification for the job was being loyal to the president.
Dr. Peña thus joins a long list of people who have been forced out of the White House and had their reputation attacked just for doing the best job they could.