Washington - President elect Donald Trump nominated Louis Camilleri, CEO of tobacco company Phillip Morris, to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
The nomination was tendered after previous nominee, Tom Price, went missing for three days on the way to his confirmation hearing, after hitching a ride with former Texas governor and Department of Energy nominee Rick Perry. The two took a wrong turn on the D.C. beltway and ended up at the terminus of US 95 in Maine at the Canadian border before they were able to turn around.
In an interview with reporters, Mr. Camilleri expressed excitement at taking the post at HHS.
"I believe that, in light of the administration's review of scientific debates on issues such as global warming, we would like to explore a reexamination of the research linking tobacco use with various health issues. As with the oil and coal industry groups, we also have our own paid consultants we feel could shed new light on the issues".
A swift approval of the nominee by the GOP controlled Congress was expected.