Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson announced his resignation today with an ominous warning of a health-related terrorist attack and a global flu outbreak.
“For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do,” Thompson said at a news conference.
He is the eighth member of President Bush’s 15-member Cabinet to leave.
Bush’s top choice to replace Thompson is Medicare chief and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration Mark McClellan, a longtime ally from Texas.
He is the brother of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.
Earlier Friday, Bush announced his nomination of former New York Police Department chief Bernard Kerik to replace Tom Ridge as secretary of Homeland Security.
Thompson said much more needs to be done to protect food imports, noting he worries “every single night” about food poisoning.
He also chastised Congress for not approving more funds for avian flu, which could kill as many as 30 million to 70 million people worldwide, according to some estimates.
“This is a really huge bomb out there that could adversely impact on the health care of the world,” Thompson said.