US health secretary Tom Price resigns

Tom Price has stepped down from his position as US Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary amid a controversy over travel expenses. White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated Friday that Price had "offered his resignation earlier today and the president accepted." 

She indicated that President Donald Trump plans to designate Don Wright, deputy assistant HHS secretary and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, to serve as acting secretary.

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According to a probe by Politico, Price has taken approximately two dozen chartered flights since May at an estimated total cost to the US government of over $400 000. A recent report by the media outlet also noted that Price had taken overseas trips on military aircraft at a cost of more than $500 000.

The inspector general of the HHS is examining whether Price's travel complied with federal regulations. Meanwhile, Price has offered to reimburse about $52 000 to the federal government. 

Trump, who has publicly criticised Price over the issue, commented that "it's not a question of competence…He's a very fine man. I certainly don't like the optics" surrounding the HHS secretary's travel.

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