But he remains undeterred.
“I’ve been in leadership school for 23 years now … and I’ve been able to rise to the level of an admiral, a flag officer in the Navy,” he said. “I didn’t just stumble into that. So I’ve gotten a lot of leadership background, I’ve got a lot of leadership experience as a Navy officer, and I’ve got a lot of day-to-day leadership experience
“You know, I’m not just an officer in the Navy; I’m an emergency medicine physician in the military. I’ve been confronted on a day-to-day basis with life and death decisions.”
Jackson was a surprise pick as the next VA secretary, following the dismissal of David Shulkin from the role last month.
He is an Iraq war veteran who deployed as an emergency medicine physician with the Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon in Taqaddum, Iraq, in 2005. He served as the White House doctor for Trump and also former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, directing health care for not only the commander in chief but their senior staff and Cabinet officials.