Seema Verma, one of the topmost officials in outgoing US President Donald Trump’s administration, has quit. The 50-year-old, an Indian-American, had been serving as Administrator of Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the last four years. Her resignation comes a few days ahead of incoming President Joe Biden’s inaugural ceremony on January 20, which is when her tenure will conclude. A new name will be picked to fill her place under the Biden-Harris administration.
Reports suggest Verma was a close aide of Trump and one of his chief advisors on matters of healthcare. In May last year, she was made a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force team.
In her resignation letter addressed to Trump, and posted on social media, Verma writes, “I am profoundly grateful for your decision to empower me to develop and implement an agenda that delivered historic reforms of the American healthcare system. As the longest tenured Administrator in the history of CMS, it has been an honour…” She goes on to elaborate the work done under her leadership, from increased price transparency in healthcare to price reductions.
Read her resignation letter below:
As the Trump Administration comes to a close, I have submitted my official resignation and am preparing to turn the keys over to the next Administrator next week. pic.twitter.com/s9tmadPSGQ
— Administrator Seema Verma (@SeemaCMS) January 15, 2021
Also Read: Capitol Hill Attack: First Lady Melania Trump’s Chief Of Staff And Deputy Press Secretary Resign
Following the violent Capitol Hill attack on January 6, several officials from Trump’s administration, including transportation secretary Elaine Chao and education secretary Betsy DeVos, had resigned from their roles.
Verma, however, in an interview on Wednesday stated that resigning from her role now would mean “dereliction of duty.” CNBC quoted her saying, “I felt like it would be a dereliction of my duty and my commitment to the agency and to the people that we serve, to leave my post and without ensuring a smooth transition to the Biden administration.”
Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House has voted for Trump to be impeached, the processes for which will begin the coming week. Read more here.
Who Is Seema Verma?
Seema Verma is a first-generation Indian-American. Her parents hail from Punjab, and her husband’s family has origins in Bihar. Verma studied at the University of Maryland and completed her Masters in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She played a key role in designing and implementing the state of Indiana’s Medicaid program and was responsible for rolling back several points of health policies from the Obama-era presidency. Verma also worked with Vice President Mike Pence when he was the Governor of Virginia.