Trump Announces Nomination of Alex Azar to Lead Department of Health and Human Services

Director of French research laboratory, the Pasteur Institute, Alice Dautry (R) smiles next to US Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, 06 February 2006 at the institute in Paris prior signing an cooperation agreement to fight bird flu. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)

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President Donald Trump announced Monday that he is nominating Alex Azar to be the next secretary of health and human services, calling him a "star."

"Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary. He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!" Trump tweeted.

The Trump administration's previous HHS secretary, Dr. Tom Price, resigned on Sept. 29 after reports emerged he had traveled on chartered planes—for work and personal time—at the cost of at least $400,000 to taxpayers.

Azar has prior experience at HHS, having served as its deputy secretary during the George W. Bush administration. According to Politico, he worked closely there with Eric Hargan, who has been acting HHS secretary since Price left.

Azar went on to join pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, eventually heading its operations from 2012 until this past January.

Azar is a critic of Obamacare, which the Trump administration has tried and failed to repeal and replace in 2017. He also has called for insurance companies and drugmakers to work together to lower the price of drugs.

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