CNN: Mike Pence's physician informed White House of Dr. Ronny Jackson's behavior last fall

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

Vice President Mike Pence's physician privately alerted senior White House officials to Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson's, MD, behavior last fall, noting he may have violated second lady Karen Pence's HIPAA protections and intimidated the vice president's physician during multiple incidents, CNN reports.

CNN obtained copies of three separate memos detailing instances of Dr. Jackson's unprofessionalism documented by Mr. Pence's physician. The memos were provided to CNN on the condition the publication did not name Mr. Pence's physician and that the memos not be published in full. A source familiar with the matter told CNN two senior White House officials received copies of the documents last fall. The memos represent the first written documentation involving a specific allegation of medical misconduct by Dr. Jackson, according to the report.

In one incident on Sept. 8, 2017, Ms. Pence suffered a medical situation that necessitated her transport from Camp David to Bethesda, Md.-based Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Dr. Jackson reportedly intervened in the situation, which led to the "inadvertent disclosure of SLOTUS' medical information in a situation where ultimate discretion was of utmost importance," according to one of the memos, which does not describe the medical situation. The memo claims Dr. Jackson briefed other physicians and White House staff on the matter without consulting the vice president's physician. Dr. Jackson also reportedly asked physicians at Camp David for several reports detailing Ms. Pence's condition, but did so "without malicious intent to circumvent their medical knowledge," one memo states.

On Sept. 11, 2017, Mr. Pence's physician told two senior White House officials about the "breach of [Ms. Pence's] patient information" under HIPAA. The memos indicate White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was one of the individuals informed of the incident.

The memos also detail other instances of Dr. Jackson's alleged unprofessionalism following the Sept. 8 incident. In one of two encounters described in the memos, the vice president's physician wrote Dr. Jackson made him feel uncomfortable with his "accusatory" tone and "intimidating" and "aggressive" behavior during private meetings, CNN reports.

"This meeting summoned by Dr. Jackson appears to have been in retribution for me verbalizing concerns over the protection of the SLOTUS' medical information and his inappropriate involvement in the decision-making process of her care, which is consistent with previous behavior that I have received from him in the past," the vice president's physician wrote in one of the memos. "This unprofessionalism fosters a negative command climate that removes any opportunity for open, professional discussion."

However, one former White House medical official told CNN Dr. Jackson and the vice president's physician have maintained a long "strained relationship," the report states.

Dr. Jackson was selected by President Donald Trump to head the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs following former VA Secretary David Shulkin's, MD, termination in March. However, Dr. Jackson withdrew his nomination last week after allegations surfaced detailing his alleged professional misconduct. The White House has denied the allegations.

The vice president's physician did not respond to CNN's requests for comment, while the White House declined to comment to the publication.

To access the CNN report, click here.

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