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Armstrong Facing Second Confirmation Hearing

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Florida Department of Health
The Florida Channel
Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong

Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong faces another confirmation hearing today, in front of the same group that a year ago refused to back his nomination.

Last April, the Senate Health Policy Committee tabled Armstrong’s confirmation in the midst of a bitter legislative battle over a proposed expansion of health coverage to poor Floridians. Senators at the time said they felt Armstrong, an appointee of Gov. Rick Scott, deflected questions about the Senate plan.

More recently, the secretary of the Florida Department of Health has faced criticism about his oversight of the department’s handling of rising HIV rates, changes to the Children’s Medical Services program, and delays to an approved medical marijuana program.

Monday, Armstrong told Politico Florida he didn’t see his nomination as controversial, and was looking forward to today’s hearing.

“I think this is less controversy and really more about engagement in health issues in communities across Florida, he told Politico.

At least two members of the Senate committee say they will vote for Armstrong’s confirmation, Politico reports.

But if he is not confirmed today, he will have to vacate the position.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.