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U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy dismissed by Trump Administration



Vivek Murthy
Vivek Murthy

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, center, after he is ceremonially sworn-in in Conmy Hall at Fort Myer, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Arlington, Va.U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, center, after he is ceremonially sworn-in in Conmy Hall at Fort Myer, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Arlington, Va.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said on Friday that he was replaced, just two years after his appointment by former President Barack Obama.

In a statement posted to Facebook, the 39-year-old Murthy said he “was blessed to have an extraordinary team of dedicated public servants who became my colleagues and friends” and highlighted the work done by his office to address addiction in the United States.

“Thank you, America, for the privilege of a lifetime,” Murthy said. “I have been truly humbled and honored to serve as your Surgeon General.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to Diya TV’s request for comment Saturday about Murthy’s departure. Murthy became the first Indian-American to serve as the country’s top doctor when he was confirmed by the Senate in 2014, a year after he was nominated. He said Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, the current deputy surgeon general, will serve as acting surgeon general. The official page of the U.S. Surgeon General has been updated with her in that role.

Murthy, in a landmark report on addiction released in November, said dependency on opioids and other substances must not be looked on as a “character flaw,” in the first publication from a surgeon general hat has addressed drug and alcohol addiction.

“We will only be successful in addressing addiction — and other illnesses — when we recognize the humanity within each of us. People are more than their disease. All of us are more than our worst mistakes,” Murthy said in the statement. “We must ensure our nation always reflects a fundamental value: every life matters.”

Murthy was nominated for the post in 2013, he faced immediate and fierce opposition from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights advocates, who argued he would use the office to advocate for changing the nations’ firearms laws; Murthy had spoken out for mandatory gun-safety training and an assault weapons ban. Republicans, and some Democrats, also objected to Murthy for his previous political activism, such as when he co-founded Doctors for Obama in 2008.

He was narrowly confirmed by the Senate in 2014.

Murthy pointed to his background as the grandson of a poor farmer from India in what he called the “humbling” experience of being chosen as the nation’s top health official. He called it a “uniquely American story.”

“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,” Murthy said.

Here’s Murthy with Diya TV’s Ravi Kapur in an interview in 2015:

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