The Donald Trump administration on Friday asked an Indian-American surgeon general to quit from his post. “[Vivek] Murthy, the leader of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, was asked to resign from his duties as surgeon general after assisting in a smooth transition into the new Trump administration,” the US Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.
Dr Murthy was appointed for four years by the previous Barack Obama administration in 2015, reported USA Today. Murthy, who will now continue as a member of the Commissioned Corps, has been replaced by Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams. Currently, Trent-Adams is the deputy surgeon general.
Murthy congratulated his successor. “As my colleague, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, takes over as the acting surgeon general, know that our nation is in capable and compassionate hands,” he added.
Murthy was the 19th surgeon general and the first Indian-American to hold the position. The 39-year-old said it was an “honour and privilege to work for this prestigious position”. He also took the opportunity to laud the United States’ earlier immigration policies. “I will always be grateful to our country for welcoming my immigrant family nearly 40 years ago and giving me this opportunity to serve,” he said in a Facebook post. He, however, said that he had “hoped to do more to help” US.
Murthy’s parents are from Karnataka, but he was born in England. After three years, his family moved to Miami, Florida. He currently practices at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He is also a physician at Harvard Medical School.
Murthy is the second Indian-American to be removed by the Trump administration. Former US federal prosecutor Preet Bharara was dismissed in March. Bharara had criticised the Trump administration for its personnel decisions and executive actions.