Obama Commerce Secretary Takes Medical Leave

Posted: Jun 11, 2012 10:44 PM
President Obama's Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, who was involved in two traffic accidents over the weekend, has taken medical leave from his post. Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank will temporarily step into the position during Bryson's absence.

Bryson had a seizure, according to a spokeswoman earlier in the day.

"Secretary Bryson informed the White House tonight that he will be taking a medical leave of absence from his position as Commerce secretary as he undergoes tests and evaluations," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

"The president’s thoughts are with Secretary Bryson and his family during this time. Secretary Bryson assured the White House that the Commerce Department staff will not miss a beat in their work helping America’s businesses compete,” Carney said.

Bryson was hospitalized following the incidents over the weekend. As the Washington Post reported, some overzealous conservatives leaped to impugn the actions before the full story emerged.

The conservative group American Crossroads apologized Monday for a tweet in which it speculated that Commerce Secretary John Bryson had been driving drunk when he caused a series of car accidents in California on Saturday.

Seizures are a very, very serious matter, and our thoughts are with Sec. Bryson that his health issues are safely resolved.