The White House administration on Friday dismissed U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, saying it is continuing the process of transitioning to new leadership.
“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.
"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. "(Health and Human Services) Secretary (Tom) Price thanks him for his dedicated service to the nation. Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, who is the current Deputy Surgeon General, will serve as the acting Surgeon General and assume leadership of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.”
Trent-Adams, whose picture and name already were up on the surgeon general Twitter account Friday evening, has served in the Public Health Service Corps for more than 24 years, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. She previously was chief nurse officer for that agency, the deputy associate administrator for the HIV/AIDS bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services, and nurse officer in the Army.
Murthy, 39, was the 19th surgeon general of the United States. He was a native of the United Kingdom and a graduate of Harvard College as well as the Yale University schools of medicine and business. A vice admiral and research scientist, he is known for his concerns regarding emotional well-being. At a recent conference on behavioral health in Seattle, he said, "We forget some of the oldest medicines are love and compassion." On his web page, he describes himself as a "physician, entrepreneur, grassroots organizer, mango aficionado, dreamer."
He was confirmed on Dec. 14, 2014, and co-founded Visions, an HIV/AIDS educational program in India and the United States. He also co-founded Swasthya, a community health partnership in rural India.
Murthy could not immediately be reached.
Trent-Adams is a graduate of Hampton University as well as the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she earned a doctoral degree as well as a master of science in nursing and health policy.
Contributing: Jayne O'Donnell