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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Surgeon General Armstrong narrowly clears first confirmation hearing



Dr. John Armstrong faced tough questions and ultimately cleared his first confirmation hurdle on a 5-4 vote in the Senate Health Policy Committee this afternoon.

Armstrong, first appointed by Gov. Rick Scott in 2012 to run the Department of Health, has been under fire for the removal of kids from the Children’s Medical Services program, rising HIV infections particularly in South Florida, the repeal of standards for pediatric heart surgery and cutbacks to county health departments.

“I think that he has a lot to answer for,” said Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, before the Health Policy Committee meeting. “I think everybody has questions, and it’s not just the Democrats. There’s a lot being heard from the Dade County people.”

Armstrong needed support from five of the health panel’s nine members. He got it from five Republicans with the panel's three Democrats and Republican Sen. Anitere Flores of Miami voting against him.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 4:11pm]


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