U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson has taken a leave of absence after being involved in two bizarre, back-to-back traffic accidents in California over the weekend.
Bryson informed the White House late Monday night will take a medical leave as he undergoes tests and evaluations after suffering an apparent seizure while driving near his Los Angeles area home. The department said Bryson suffered a seizure on Saturday and had limited recall of the events, the Associated Press reported.
Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank will become the acting secretary for the second time. She was acting secretary last summer after Gary Locke left to become ambassador to China and before Bryson was approved by the Senate. Even if Bryson were to quit completely or be fired, it's unlikely that President Barack Obama would get another secretary approved before the November election, The Atlantic notes.
Bryson's statement reads:
I notified President Obama this evening that effective immediately I am taking a medical leave of absence so that I can focus all of my attention on resolving the health issues that arose over the weekend. During the period of my illness, I will not perform the functions and duties of my office.