After the initial story had posted in STAT News, Patients Over Pharma released a statement questioning the ethics of Hargan’s wife’s lobbying, which included a link to one of her tweets showing her at an official government event with her husband during the time period she was registered to lobby on behalf of health care clients with interests in HHS policies and decision-making.
The tweet showing her at an official government event while registered to lobby was subsequently deleted (screenshot is below).
In a statement to Buzzfeed, HHS claimed that Emily Hargan happened to be at her husband’s official government event as part of her “personal travel plans,” but they didn’t explain why she then deleted it and they didn’t deny that her presence at the event while she was registered to lobby was improper.
[Twitter – Emily Hargan, 7/11/20]
Eric Hargan Visited With Hospital Leadership At Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center About Pandemic Response. “Eric Hargan, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services visited Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Deputy Secretary spoke with the media before heading inside to speak with the hospitals leadership about what the hospital has faced during the pandemic.” [WXII 12, 7/10/20]
Headline: WXII 12: “Deputy Secretary of DHHS visits Wake Forest Baptist Health.” [WXII 12, 7/10/20]