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Hegseth: Petzel ‘Resignation’ Unhelpful, Replacement Unacceptable

By Concerned Veterans for America

Arlington, Va. – Dr. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA), has resigned following a growing scandal throughout the VHA healthcare system. Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, issued the following statement: “Does this administration think we’re idiots? Dr. Petzel’s so-called “resignation” is a meaningless gesture, as he was already scheduled to retire in a few months. Yes, I agree that he should be held responsible and, therefore, fired; but asking someone to retire a few months early is not accountability. This is by no means a demonstration that the Department of Veterans Affairs understands how grave the situation really is. If anything, this cynical move reinforces how out of touch VA has become. They’re looking for a fall guy, and Dr. Petzel was convenient. “To make things worse, the nominee already slated (before this resignation) to replace Dr. Petzel for the position of Under Secretary for Health—Dr. Jeffrey A. Murawsky—represents a continuation of the prevailing culture at VHA. Dr. Murawsky has worked at VA for more than 13 years and can only be classified as an insider. He was a part of the system when the system was failing; in fact, he was even Sharon Helman’s boss (the former head of the Phoenix VA). Do we really want the former boss of the poster-child for VHA dysfunction running the entire department? “The nomination of Dr. Murawsky represents a continuity of the current practices at VHA, plain and simple. Even if he has a track record as a so-called innovator, Dr. Murawsky’s focus will undoubtedly be at the margins of the system and not at the root causes of the problem. High-level managers at VA, as the department is currently structured, cannot survive inside the system if they are true reformers. This makes Dr. Murawsky the wrong candidate at the wrong time for VHA. Dr. Murawsky represents the status quo, not the reforms necessary to get the VA back on track. The President and VA need to go back to the drawing board and find a true reformer—with the experience and background, outside the VA, to fix this dysfunctional system.” To schedule a TV interview Pete Hegseth, CEO of CVA, or other CVA experts, please email For more information, contact Emily Laird at 571.302.0973 or email  ### Concerned Veterans for America is a non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization that advocates for policies that will preserve the freedom and liberty we and our families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend.