January 08, 2021

Cardin, Van Hollen Press the Department of Defense on Effort to Remove USU President

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the Department of Defense (DOD) Christopher Miller expressing concern over DOD’s plan to remove Dr. Richard Thomas as President of the Bethesda-based Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) effective Monday, January 11, 2021. In their letter, the Senators raise questions about the motivations behind DOD’s efforts to remove Dr. Thomas and ask for a review of this decision.

“The fact that this action is taking place despite the strenuous objections of the President of the USU Board of Regents raises serious questions about its basis and whether it is retaliatory in nature. Dr. Thomas has served USU with distinction and integrity, and the United States is fortunate to have him in a position of leadership,” the Senators write. “His removal at this particular time appears to be retribution for his advocacy on behalf of military medicine. We urge you in the strongest possible terms to review this action immediately.”

The full text of the letter is available here and below. 

Dear Acting Secretary Miller:

We write to express our deep concern at the effort to remove Dr. Richard Thomas from his position as President of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). We understand that the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness has recommended his dismissal and that Dr. Thomas will have an opportunity to present a defense on Monday, January 11, 2021.

The fact that this action is taking place despite the strenuous objections of the President of the USU Board of Regents raises serious questions about its basis and whether it is retaliatory in nature. Dr. Thomas has served USU with distinction and integrity, and the United States is fortunate to have him in a position of leadership. His removal at this particular time appears to be retribution for his advocacy on behalf of military medicine. We urge you in the strongest possible terms to review this action immediately.

Sincerely,

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