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160509_4718781_updates.jpgFormer US Health Secretary Tom Price is seen standing in this photo after speaking on the opening day of the World Health Assembly's (WHA) annual meeting in Geneva, May 22, 2017. AFP/Fabrice Coffrini/Files

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump's embattled health minister was forced to leave the US administration Friday, amid a scandal over his use of costly private jets for government travel.

"Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the President [has] accepted," Sarah Huckabee Sanders ? the White House press secretary ? said in a statement.

Price cited "recent events [that] have created a distraction from these important objectives" as the primary reason for stepping down from his role.

According to Price, the crucial topics comprise "working to reform a broken health care system, empower patients, reduce regulatory burdens, ensure global health security, and tackle clinical priorities such as the opioids epidemic, serious mental illness and childhood obesity".

The former HHS secretary wished Trump well, saying that "success on these issues is more important than any one person" and that "failure is not an option for the American people".


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