WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAVY) — President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs is getting broad support from veterans groups and Capitol Hill. However, one group is skeptical, because David Shulkin is not a veteran himself.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, based in New York City and dedicated to veterans who have served after 9/11, released a statement following Shulkin’s nomination.
“IAVA membership has strong concerns about the department being led by a non-veteran for the first time in history, especially in a time of war.”
Shulkin would be the first non-veteran secretary since the Department of Veteran Affairs was created by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. He would also be the only Cabinet secretary to come from the Obama Administration.
Shulkin is currently under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs. That means he oversees more than 1,700 Veterans Affairs medical centers (including Hampton) and more than 300,000 employees.
Prior to his current post, Shulkin served in numerous chief executive roles in hospital administration. Trump said his team interviewed more than 100 people for the Cabinet post.
Trump says the nomination is a key step in fulfilling his pledge to take better care of veterans.
“We think this selection will be something that will, with time, straighten it out, and straighten it out for good.”