Running HUD is harder than performing brain surgery, says Secretary Ben Carson

Ben Carson, the former brain surgeon and current secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said last week that performing brain surgery is easier than running the federal agency.

 “There are more complexities here than in brain surgery,” Carson told The New York Times. “Doing this job is going to be a very intricate process.”

The former 2016 presidential candidate was the subject of a lengthy newspaper article following multiple ethical complaints against his department. In one instance, a whistleblower called out a dinning set order worth $31,000. It easily exceeded a $5,000 limit on such purchases.


Carson cancelled the order. The agency announced it is working to rescind the order.

Another issue involves Ben Carson Jr., the secretary’s son and a businessman, who was invited by the secretary to attend a Baltimore “listening tour” last summer, despite ethical concerns from the department lawyers.

Carson downplayed any wrongdoing, saying his family and department are “ethically pure.”

“I don’t have any problem with ethics,” Carson told the Times. “Here is a rather unique situation, [Ben Carson Jr.] is somebody who is integrally important to me, and wants to help. I’m not going to just say no because it looks this way or that way.”

The secretary claims the criticisms are only a distraction from his grand vision of the agency as a way to help the working poor in the country, something he believes the agency has not been doing for a long time.