Wednesday, April 26, 2017

U.S. Surgeon General refused to resign, so he was 'relieved' from the post

Dr. Vivek Murthy

INDIAN/AMERICAN physicians were "shocked and saddened" by the departure of Dr. Vivek Murthy as the U.S. Surgeon General.

Last Friday (April 21), the Trump administration asked Murthy to resign even though he had a year and-a-half to go on his 4-year term. When he refused, he was "relieved" from his post that he held since 2014.

"Many have asked why I chose not to resign as Surgeon General when I was asked to do so," said Murthy on his Facebook page. "My reason was simple: because I would never willfully abandon my commitment to my Commissioned Corps officers, to the American people, and to all who have stood with me to build a healthier and more compassionate America."

The American Association of Physicians of Indian-origin were caught by surprise, but issued a statement. "On behalf of the AAPI, I want to applaud the many contributions and initiatives of Dr Vivek Murthy, our AAPI member, in the healthcare sector in very short span of about two years since he became U.S. Surgeon General in 2014," said AAPI president Ajay Lodha.


Murthy also served as co-chair with former Education Secretary John King of the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders was housed in the Department of Education.

When Donald Trump took office, unlike other appointees of President Obama, Murthy chose to assist in the transition and to continue his work as Surgeon General.

“Although it’s not unprecedented, it’s highly unusual for a surgeon general’s four-year term to be cut short,” explained Daniel Politi at Slate. “What is known is that the gun lobby was no fan of Murthy, who has for years insisted that gun violence should be classified as a public health threat.”

Back in 2014, when former President Barack Obama nominated him to be the next surgeon general, the National Rifle Association wrote a strongly-worded letter opposing Murthy’s confirmation. Murthy had argued that the gun control debate was a public health issue and he pushed for more common-sense gun control regulation. 

Back in 2014, when former President Barack Obama nominated him to be the next surgeon general, the National Rifle Association wrote a strongly-worded letter opposing Murthy’s confirmation. Murthy had argued that the gun control debate was a public health issue and he pushed for more common-sense gun control regulation. 

He came to the post of “America’s Doctor” following a narrow 51-43 vote of confirmation from a Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

"While that decision to stand on principle resulted in my termination prior to the end of my four-year term, I know that the Office of the Surgeon General is greater than any one person and its mission must continue," Murthy said. "The new Acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, is the right person to step into this role. She has dedicated the past 30 years to our nation serving in the Army and in the U.S. Public Health Service. Her deep wealth of experience is matched only by the immense size of her heart. I know she will serve with distinction."

He will continue to serve in the USPHS Commissioned Corps in another capacity.

In another Facebook post, he said, "For the grandson of a poor farmer from India to be asked by the president to look out for the health of an entire nation was a humbling and uniquely American story," he wrote. "While I had hoped to do more to help our nation tackle its biggest health challenges, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have served."
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