U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has been dismissed, with the Trump administration announcing his temporary replacement on Friday night.
“Today, Dr. Murthy, the leader of the U.S. 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 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement reported by USA Today.
“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 continued, adding that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price “thanks him for his dedicated service to the nation.”
The Trump administration announced that Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, the current deputy Surgeon General, would take over as acting Surgeon General, assuming leadership of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Her picture and name were already on the Surgeon General’s Twitter account Friday.
Murthy was nominated by former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaTrump admin dismisses surgeon general Pence underscores ‘historic alliance’ with Australian leader Ex-aide: Obama still the leader of the Democratic Party MORE in November 2013 and confirmed the following the year.
It wasn’t immediately clear why he was asked to step down.
The New York Times reported that employees at HHS privately expressed surprise at Murthy’s sudden departure.