Arkansas health secretary confirmed despite virus pushback


Dr. Jose Romero

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ top health official has been confirmed by the state Senate despite pushback from some Republican lawmakers over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Senate on Thursday voted to confirm Dr. Jose Romero as state health secretary.

Romero was named permanently to the post by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in August, but had faced a rare confirmation fight from some GOP lawmakers.

They criticized him over the state’s virus restrictions and his stance on an anti-malarial drug touted by former President Donald Trump.

Romero’s confirmation was the latest tussle between Hutchinson and fellow Republicans over the pandemic.

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