The U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has been fired by President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a story in The Hill.
In a statement, the Department of Health and Human Services said Murthy, who was appointed by President Barack Obama’s administration in 2014, had been asked to resign, and that he would be replaced temporarily by Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, the current deputy Surgeon General.
‘Today [Friday, April 21], Dr. 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 Admi
nistration,’ the statement said.
‘Dr. Murthy has been relieved of his duties as Surgeon General and will continue to serve as a member of the Commissioned Corps.’
The statement said that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price “thanks him for his dedicated service to the nation”.
Citing a New York Times story, The Hill reported that Murthy’s sudden departure had surprised employees at HHS.
The Hill pointed out, however, that Murthy had called gun violence a health threat to the US, which had won him opposition from the National Rifle Association.
Elsewhere, press reports speculated that his sacking might have been in part prompted by his support for vaccinations, and/or for his opposition to electronic cigarettes.