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Vox Sentences: The Senate decides Trump’s doctor needs a closer examination

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Troubling allegations come out against Trump’s pick for VA secretary; demonstrators in Nicaragua protest violent police intervention.


Trump nominated his own doctor to the Cabinet. You’ll never believe what happened next.

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  • It isn’t new for drama to surround a Trump-endorsed agency nominee (like last week’s narrow confirmation of the new head of NASA). But the controversy over White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, the president’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, is more dramatic than most. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
  • On Monday night, the Senate postponed Jackson’s confirmation hearing amid swirling allegations over his management of the White House medical office. The hearing had been set to take place on Wednesday after Trump ousted VA Secretary David Shulkin in March. [Politico / Andrew Restuccia, Matthew Nussbaum, and Burgess Everett]
  • Jackson allegedly drank on the job, oversaw the overprescription of drugs, and allowed for a “toxic” work environment. Allegations came from whistleblowers who directly approached the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and a workplace survey. [CNN / Juana Summers, Phil Mattingly, Manu Raju, and Jeff Zeleny]
  • Even before the allegations surfaced, some senators on both sides of the aisle questioned Jackson’s nomination. Pointing to a general lack of management experience in his role of White House doctor, senators questioned whether Jackson has the ability to lead a department with 360,000 employees responsible for the care of approximately 9 million veterans. [NPR / Kelsey Snell, Susan Davis, and Scott Neuman]
  • The physician had previously received attention for his appraisal of Trump’s health following the president’s annual physical in January. Jackson had said, memorably, that the president might live to the age of 200 with a healthier diet. [Washington Post / Seung Min Kim, Lisa Rein, and Josh Dawsey]
  • Trump has maintained a strong relationship with Jackson, leading to speculation that the physician’s nomination came out of the president’s own personal affinity rather than any qualification he possesses. [Newsweek / Nicole Goodkind]
  • But Tuesday, Trump appeared to hint during a news conference that Jackson might withdraw from consideration altogether. Blaming Democrats for what he sees as an unfair attack, Trump said, “I don’t want to put a man through a process like this.” [NYT / Nicholas Fandos and Michael D. Shear]
  • Trump also said that if he were Jackson, he’d withdraw. ”If I were him ... I wouldn’t do it.” [NBC News / Vivian Salama]

Protests beget protests in Nicaragua

  • On Monday, thousands of protesters in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua took to the streets. Protestors were demonstrating against the government’s response to the previous week of protests, in which a violent police crackdown left 10 dead and 433 injured. [Reuters / Oswaldo Rivas]
  • The original protests began peacefully Wednesday, two days after the government approved part of President Daniel Ortega’s controversial plan to overhaul the country’s welfare system. The resolution would have increased contributions by workers and employers into the Nicaraguan Institute for Social Security while reducing payouts by 5 percent. But yesterday, Ortega scrapped the reforms altogether. [Al Jazeera]
  • That wasn’t enough for protesters, who called for the former leftist guerrilla leader, whom critics accuse of trying to build a family dictatorship, to resign. As protesters moved through the city, they waved pictures of those killed by security forces in recent days and chanted, “President out!” [Vice News / Toby Hill]
  • As a result of the unpredictability of the protests, the US State Department on Monday ordered relatives of government employees based in the country to leave. [BBC]

Miscellaneous

  • Fewer Republican senators are women than those who are men named John. Here are the other top jobs in which that (disturbing) statistic is true. [NYT / Claire Cain Miller, Kevin Quealy, and Margot Sanger-Katz]
  • Women often buy clothes made for men — so why don’t most men casually wear dresses? [Racked / Marlen Komar]
  • The food we see in movies, commercials, and TV shows goes on an interesting journey to get there. [Eater / Alexandra Ilyashov]
  • The Bajau, a people of the Malay Archipelago, spend 60 percent of their working day underwater, and they’ve evolved traits to match. [Economist]

Verbatim

“Cities are places where hundreds of thousands and millions of people reside and where thousands and thousands of vehicles operate, and often only inches apart.” [Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert and a senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation, to the Atlantic / Yasmeen Serhan]


Watch this: How Russian trolls weaponized your social media feed

Russia spent billions on a troll army to meddle in American democracy. Here’s how you can stop them. [YouTube / Danush Parvaneh]


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