President Trump is doing a little spring cleaning, deciding to dismiss U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who had been appointed by his predecessor.  Murthy had been asked to resign, but declined to do so according to his wife.  The president then fired him.

“Today, Dr. Murthy, the leader of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, was asked to resign from his duties as Surgeon General,” the Department of Health and Human Services said Friday.

Murthy was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 as the country’s top doctor.

HHS also said Secretary Tom Price thanked Murthy, the first Indian-American to become surgeon general, for helping the administration with its transition efforts, and that he would continue to serve on the corps.

The administration has named Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, who was Murthy’s deputy, as acting surgeon general.

The Democrats wasted little time in criticizing the President for this move.

Murthy had nearly two years left on his four-year term as surgeon general. The news release made clear that he was asked to resign. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) criticized the dismissal in a news release, saying that Murthy “U.S. surgeons general are not supposed to be fired midterm. They have served administrations of both political parties because keeping Americans safe and healthy isn’t a partisan issue. Dr. Murthy helped steer our country through the frightening Ebola and Zika outbreaks, and rightfully focused on the devastation of addiction.”

Murthy organized Doctors for America (which was originally Doctors for Obama). The organization was virulently anti-gun, as noted by National Review’s Timothy Wheeler, who linked to the group’s goal page:

It would be easy to see why the former president would be keen to have an Obamacare-loving anti-gun activist in one of the administration’s most public positions. However, given the policy trajectories of President Trump, there is likely to be a Surgeon General who would be a better match.

Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams may just be a good fit. She did a stint as a nurse officer in the Army and attended college on a ROTC scholarship. Recalling that President Trump wanted to focus on helping America’s inner cities during his campaign, some of her professional experience well aligns well.

A few of Trent-Adams’ initiatives included working to improve health access for poor communities. When she served as an administrator, Trent-Adams was in charge of building systems “to improve public health for marginalized populations domestically and internationally.”

The New York Times has more on Trent-Adams:

Admiral Trent-Adams received a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. She was a nurse officer in the Army and also served as a research nurse at the University of Maryland. She joined the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service in 1992 and served as the deputy associate administrator for the HIV/AIDS bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration before joining the surgeon general’s office.

No matter who eventually ultimately occupies this position for the Trump administration, it would be hard to top Bill Clinton’s always entertaining choice for the post…Joycelyn Elders.


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