Sanders vows to 'vigorously' oppose Trump's health nominee

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.) said Monday that he would oppose President Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, denouncing his ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

The nominee, Alex Azar, is a former executive at the drug company Eli Lilly and also served in the Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush.

“At a time when the United States pays, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, the last thing we need is to put a pharmaceutical executive in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services,” Sanders said in a statement.

Sanders said the nomination shows Trump is not living up to his attacks on the pharmaceutical industry and stated desire to bring down prices.

The former presidential candidate said the nomination shows Trump was “never serious about his promise to stop the pharmaceutical industry from ‘getting away with murder.’”

“We need an HHS secretary who is willing to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drug prices, not one who has financially benefitted from this greed,” Sanders said. “I will vigorously oppose this nomination.”

Sanders is one of the most outspoken members of the Democratic caucus against high drug prices and the pharmaceutical industry.

Other Senate Democrats have so far taken a more restrained approach. Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (N.Y.), for example, did not take a position on Azar in a statement and said he wants to review the nomination.