VA probe to allege Dr. David Shulkin improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets, airfare: 5 things to know

Investigators with the Department of Veterans Affairs will release a report accusing VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, of wrongly accepting Wimbledon tickets and paying for his wife's airfare with taxpayer funds during a European trip last summer, USA Today reports.

Here are five things to know about the allegations. 

1. Dr. Shulkin's lawyers deemed the accusations, scheduled to be released this week, unfair and questionable.

"The draft report ignores critical facts, presenting a one-sided version of events that casts aside evidence contradicting your chosen narrative," lawyers Justin Shur, Eric Nitz and Emily Damrau wrote in draft rebuttal obtained by USA Today.

2. In October, VA Inspector General Michael Missal started investigating Dr. Shulkin's 10-day trip to Europe last July, which included meetings with healthcare officials in Denmark and a veterans' issues summit in London. The investigations started after The Washington Post reported Dr. Shulkin and his wife went sightseeing for nearly half of the trip.

3. According to the lawyers' eight-page rebuttal, USA Today inferred VA investigators may question whether the trip qualified as "essential travel" under Dr. Shulkin's recent cost-saving directive; whether the VA should have paid for Dr. Shulkin's wife's airfare; and whether the couple's acceptance of Wimbledon tennis tickets was ethical.

4. Dr. Shulkin's lawyers said Dr. Shulkin and his wife, Merle Bari, MD, paid for the sightseeing, and Dr. Bari's airfare was approved as a taxpayer expense by VA officials.

5. The VA inspector general's office declined USA Today's request for comment Monday.

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