This Is Not Normal: The HHS Edition

Are we still saying that anymore? Anyway, this happened at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the parent organization of NIH and CDC, among others (boldface mine):

Teresa Manning, the controversial official in charge of the Title X federal family planning program, was escorted from HHS premises on Friday.

Two sources with knowledge of Manning’s departure tell POLITICO that she was fired by HHS. An HHS spokesperson disputed that account, saying that Manning resigned.

“HHS is very grateful for her service,” the spokesperson said. “Her departure after resignation was not unusual in any way.”

Manning could not be reached for comment.

Manning, who previously worked for anti-abortion groups including the Family Research Council and National Right to Life, had been serving as deputy assistant secretary for HHS’ Office of Population Affairs. In that role, she was responsible for helping set national policy around family planning, contraception and teen pregnancy — a development that alarmed abortion-rights groups worried about Manning’s history of statements and actions opposing birth control and abortion…

Manning’s name was removed from OPA’s leadership page on Friday night. She had been tapped in May 2017 to lead the office, which has been criticized by state officials in recent months. OPA’s process to allow states to apply for family-planning grants is running more than two months behind schedule

A source with knowledge of Manning’s dismissal said that staff were told to leave the floor of the HHS building and to take their computers, in order to ensure that no one witnessed her being escorted out.

This is definitely not normal. People who leave aren’t escorted out like this. Of course, this being a Republican administration, it gets worse (boldface mine):

“Manning’s departure would be positive news except for the fact that the Trump administration has chosen to replace Manning with Valerie Huber, who is well known for placing ideology over an evidence-based approach to ensuring that young people have the information and services they need to avoid an unplanned pregnancy,” said Ehrlich, whose group backs federal support for sex education and a wide range of contraception methods. “What we really need is for this administration to take women’s health issues seriously and appoint an individual who is not only well qualified for the position, but also values women.”

Don’t think for a moment this wouldn’t happen under a President Pence–or any number of other Republicans.

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2 Responses to This Is Not Normal: The HHS Edition

  1. John Magoun says:

    Your final comment is the key one. The president doesn’t give a damn about abortion, but the people he brought to Washington sure do.
    If this president ever does leave early or get shown the door, the GOP continues to control the executive branch until 2020. Just like Pence will likely continue to do, every one of his opponents in the 2016 primaries would very probably also have gutted EPA, healthcare, progressive taxation, climate change prevention, and a host of other important government functions that hinder the freedoms of the corporate and upper classes.
    (Although I doubt many of them would have cleared out the State Dept., or abrogated our international standing as a diplomatic player. That’s pure Trump/Tea Party isolationism.)

  2. jonolan says:

    One, in the current media climate, “sources” of the unnamed and unverifiable sort or worthless and most likely either fictional or lying.

    Two, Valerie Huber was already the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health. so this could easily be normal since that’s not an odd progression at all. Moving from the #2 slot of a higher echelon to the #1 slot one level down is fairly normal in bureaucracies.

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