WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused the U.S. Health Department’s inspector general of having produced a “fake dossier” on American hospitals suffering shortages on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.
The president, taking aim at yet another federal agency watchdog, did not provide any reason for questioning the health department inspector general’s report on critical shortages.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Office of the Inspector General is led by Christi Grimm, who has been the Principal Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), since January 2020.
Ms. Grimm is a leading expert in program integrity issues related to HHS programs, with particular emphasis on health care services provided in home and community-based settings.
From 2014 to 2019, Ms. Grimm was the Chief of Staff and Deputy Inspector General for the Immediate Office. She directed OIG’s strategic planning, was responsible for effective execution of OIG’s priorities, and advised on a wide variety of policy and operational matters. As Chief of Staff, Ms. Grimm created and chaired OIG’s Engagement Committee, a senior executive forum that deliberates on OIG investments.
Prior to becoming OIG’s Chief of Staff in 2014, Ms. Grimm served in leadership roles in the Immediate Office, including Director of Policy and Programs and Senior Advisor for Program Oversight. Ms. Grimm began her career with OIG in 1999 as a Program Evaluator and later served as a Senior Program Analyst in OIG’s Office of Evaluation and Inspections. She designed and conducted groundbreaking work to improve quality and safety in hospitals, stop unqualified providers from enrolling in Medicaid, and improve the process for appealing Medicare payment decisions.
Inspector General’s Findings Confirm What State and Local Officials Have Been Observing for Weeks
The findings by Ms. Grimm confirmed what governors, mayors and local health officials have been saying for weeks: that hospitals nationwide had insufficient capacity to handle the surge of coronavirus patients.
But Trump suggested the inspector general was politically motivated and asked why she had not spoken to admirals, generals, the vice president or others in charge before doing the report.
“Another Fake Dossier,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Department of Health and Human Services’s Office of the Inspector General did not return a request for comment on Trump’s tweet.
Trump’s criticism came less than a week after he notified Congress on Friday he was firing the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community, who was involved in triggering an impeachment probe of the Republican president last year.
Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown.
Source: Reuters, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services