Trump Nominee Appears to Have Practiced a Wee Bit of Resume Inflation

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Let’s make one thing clear: there was, in fact, a tornado. And it did destroy a bunch of records at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, where Robert Weaver says he worked. And Weaver did work there. That much isn’t in doubt—though it’s not clear why a tornado that hit the hospital in Joplin also destroyed Weaver’s personal copies of his employment records. Just bad luck, I guess.

However, that’s the good news. The rest, via the Wall Street Journal, is…not so good:

President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the troubled Indian Health Service appears to have misrepresented his work experience at a Missouri hospital to a Senate committee, according to former employees at the hospital….“I don’t recall that name whatsoever,” said Augusto Noronha….“I’ve never heard that name before,” said Wayne Noethe….Rhonda Foust, who worked in finance at the Joplin hospital from 1981 to 2010, said she doesn’t recall crossing paths with Mr. Weaver….Jane Obert, a longtime manager who served as compliance officer among other jobs from 1992 to 2008, said that his name didn’t ring a bell to her….Diane Sadler, an accounting manager at the hospital from 1993 until 2010, said she worked “side by side with accounts receivable” and never met Mr. Weaver.

Wait a second. Didn’t I say that Weaver really did work at this hospital? Yes I did:

Another former executive, Bob Henderson, who was director of patient financial services, said he recalled a subordinate named Rob Weaver who registered E.R. patients, gathered insurance information and collected copays, and who eventually supervised a few other patient-registration workers….He said he didn’t recall Mr. Weaver ever overseeing accounts receivable or working in budgeting or physician recruitment, or regularly participating in the leadership meetings while working under his chain of command.

According to other hospital officials, Weaver’s position was an entry-level job. But by the time this got typed up as a resume, Weaver’s experience included “various hospital administration positions, including managing all accounts receivable, budgets, patient access and physician recruitment.” This is like one of those parody career advice books, where registering ER intake becomes “patient access” and collecting copays becomes “managing accounts receivable.”

And yet, believe it or not, this still isn’t the best part of the story. Several of Weaver’s defenders said that he had “worked with” the Indian Health Service for two decades:

Asked by the Journal what constituted his IHS experience, the spokeswoman said he had needed the system as a patient, especially when he was a child, and pointed to his career in health care.

I dunno. Maybe Weaver’s experience in later life makes him eminently qualified to run a $6 billion federal agency. That’s certainly what the Trump administration thinks. An HHS spokeswoman told the Journal that “any suggestion Mr. Weaver is unqualified to run IHS is a pure act of character assassination.”

Sure. Whatever. He sounds better qualified than Michael “heckuva job” Brown, anyway.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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