Washington: Indian-American Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, an Obama administration holdover, was asked to resign by the Trump administration, a media report said.
Murthy was replaced on Friday by his deputy, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, one of the first nurses to serve as Surgeon General, New york Times reported. Trent-Adams would for now be in an acting role.
As of Friday evening, she had already replaced Murthy on the surgeon general’s Twitter account, and her portrait had replaced his on the agency’s Facebook page.
One of the first comments on that post asked, “Where is doctor Murthy?”
Alleigh Marre, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed Murthy’s resignation in an emailed statement on Friday, saying he was asked to step down “after assisting in a smooth transition into the new (Donald) Trump administration.”
Marre said Murthy will continue to serve as a member of the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, the New York Times report said.
Admiral Trent-Adams might be the first surgeon general who is not a doctor. She is not the first nurse, though.
Richard Carmona, who served under President George W. Bush, was a nurse and a physician, and he sometimes referred to himself as the first nurse to serve as surgeon general.
It was not immediately clear why Murthy was relieved from duty.
There is a long history of surgeons general creating unwanted controversy for their political bosses; among the only ways that the government’s top medics usually gain attention is when they leave office under a cloud, the NYT report added.