HHS secretary to attend inauguration of Chile’s new president

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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar will lead the U.S. delegation attending the inauguration of Chile’s next president on Sunday, the White House says.

Azar, who was confirmed as the Trump administration’s new health chief in January, will lead a delegation to the ceremony in which conservative Sebastián Piñera will be inaugurated as president for a second time. 

Piñera, a billionaire businessman and Harvard-trained economist, previously occupied the presidency from 2010 to 2014. He was the first conservative leader of Chile since the country ended martial rule in 1990, and has promised to reinvigorate the South American nation’s private sector. 


Azar will be accompanied by Carol Perez, the U.S. Ambassador to Chile, the White House said Saturday.

Trump nominated Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive and industry lobbyist, to the top health post in November after the resignation of former HHS chief Tom Price amid outrage over his use of taxpayer dollars to travel on private jets for official business. 

Azar is the latest Cabinet secretary that Trump has dispatched to official ceremonies abroad, after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was picked to lead the U.S. delegation to the Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, this month.

Tags Kirstjen Nielsen Tom Price

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