Donald Trump lashed out at Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Thursday because he believes he hasn’t done enough to help him win over voters. According to The Washington Post, the president was recently presented with polling information during a meeting that shows that voters trust Republicans less with health care and drug pricing than they trust Democrats.
Trump has made health care a key focus of his campaign and administration, promising to address the issue of health care in the U.S. and to lower drug prices. So far, he hasn’t managed to produce much in the way of results.
On Thursday, he was apparently upset about the news that progressives seem to have a political advantage when it comes to the topic, saying that the Democrats would “kill us” on health care. He then dialed Azar and attacked him over the phone while the meeting was still in progress.
First, he told the health chief that he wasn’t lowering drug prices.
“You’re not getting it done,” Trump said to Azar. “Hurry up.”
He then asked Azar why he hadn’t tackled importation laws.
“Why aren’t we getting these drugs from Canada?” he asked.
Azar told Trump that he was working on the issues, but they were either being blocked in Congress or stopped by the courts.
Trump, who has been focused in recent days on the upcoming impeachment trial in the senate, then turned to the issue of vaping. The president announced a ban on flavored vaping products last fall before changing to a more limited ban in the last month, something that apparently hasn’t polled that well.
As Axios reports, Trump said that he regretted getting involved in the vaping question and felt that he should have just left it alone.
“I should never have done that f***ing vaping thing,” he reportedly said.
Azar was apparently defensive after the president’s comment.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
“President Trump has said this Administration will protect people with pre-existing conditions, lower drug prices even further, end surprise medical bills, and make sure Americans get the highest quality of care they deserve,” a White House spokesperson said.
Though Trump promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, he hasn’t managed to make that happen. He also hasn’t lowered drug prices, or the issue of surprise medical bills, another problem that he vowed to address. The Trump administration is also pushing to have the protections for pre-existing conditions thrown out, something that some critics see as contradictory to trying to improve health care for Americans.