Vet, 62, Commits Suicide in VA Hospital as Trump Announces New VA Head

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As news of a suicide in a Missouri Veteran’s Affairs hospital spreads, Trump has announced that wants to reassign his own personal physician to be the new head of the VA.

The John Cochran VA Medical Center released a statement on the death:

“We are grieved to confirm that a Veteran was found deceased in our medical center early this morning. Our deepest sympathies are with the Veteran’s family and loved ones, our medical center staff and the members of the community affected by this tragic incident.”

Just hours ago Donald Trump announced that he is replacing the current Secretary for Veterans Affairs with her own personal White House doctor in a bid to regain control of the system failing their patients.

Veteran, 62, Took Own Life In Waiting Room

Full details about the victim have not been released to public.

According to St. Louis Police Officer Michelle Woodling, the man took his own life in one of the hospital’s waiting rooms at 4:19am local time on Monday morning.

Trump’s Announcement Firing David Shulkin

This evening Donald Trump used Twitter to announce the change in leadership at the VA.

Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson has been nominated to the portfolio. David Shulkin’s firing is immediate, and until the nomination of Dr. Jackson the position will be filled in the interim by Hon. Robert Wilkie of the Department of Defense. Wilies has been involved in White House politics in 2006 under President Bush and was born to a military family. He holds a law degree and has experience as an intelligence officer with the Naval Reserve. Previously, he was the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness under Trump.

Admiral Ronny Jackson

Dr. Ronny L Jackson, born in Texas, is rear admiral and physician who served with the US Navy as an emergency doctor during the Iraq war. During his time with the Navy he specialized in submarine medicine and worked with Navy divers.

Jackson joined the White House staff in 2006 and has treated George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. He was officially named the Physician to the President in 2013 by Obama.

Dr. Jackson was the physician who signed off on Trump’s physical earlier this year declaring the Presidential health to be “excellent,” despite a recommendation that Donald should eat healthier and get some more exercise.

Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs

The Secretary of the VA is currently responsible for the direction of 370,000 employees who give care to 20 million veterans.

Suicide Rate of Veterans

In 2013, the VA Department released a study that gave data from 1999 to 2010 and should that approximately 22 veterans died every day by suicide. In comparison, 176 soldiers were killed in combat during that time period. This is almost double the civilian rate. As well, a previous study showed that the Army had a higher suicide rate than the other service branches.

These are the suicide rates for both genders per 100,000 people according to the Clay Hunt Veterans Suicide Prevention Act:

  • Women who have never served in the military: 5.2 suicides
  • Women who are veterans or in active service: 28.7 suicides
  • Men who have never served in the military: 20.9 suicides
  • Men who are veterans or in active service: 32.1 suicides

In 2014, updates on the previous study showed that on average during that year, 20 veterans died by suicide every day.

Causes have been attributed to PTSD related to combat experience.

[READ MORE: Harry Reid Blocks Vet Suicide Hotline]

Trump Unhappy with Shulkin

Some news media wrongly reported that Shulkin gave a statement saying that Trump should have a “cabinet member that he is comfortable with,” but it was later confirmed by USA Today’s Donovan Slack that the statement was prepared by a spokesperson and was not approved by Shulkin himself.

One source in the White House allegedly said that there were “distractions” that were causing Shulkin to be ineffective, and that these distractions were “getting in the way of carrying out the President’s agenda.” This firing follows in the footsteps of Rex Tillerson, who was removed from his post as Secretary of State earlier this month.

David Shulkin

The Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255. Or, you can send a text message to 838255.

Sources: Quartz, Daily Mail, Wikipedia, CNN

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