The Trump Administration asked Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy to resign from his post as U.S. Surgeon General after “assisting with a smooth transition,” according to a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services. Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, Dr. Murthy’s deputy, is now serving as acting Surgeon General.
Dr. Murthy, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, had been in his position for more than two years before President Trump relieved him of his duties last Friday. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard College, Dr. Murthy was the first Indian-American to become “America’s Doctor,” a position he called “the privilege of a lifetime” in a Facebook post. During his tenure, Dr. Murthy used his platform to address several pressing public health issues, including e-cigarettes as well as food insecurity. The Surgeon General’s office also issued a landmark report on opioid addiction.
Last year, on World AIDS Day, Dr. Murthy joined HRC President Chad Griffin to call attention to the domestic HIV and AIDS epidemic, which continues to take a heavy toll on young, gay and bisexual men as well as transgender women. Dr. Murthy has long been an advocate for HIV prevention, treatment, and care. In 1995, the former Surgeon General co-founded VISIONS Worldwide, an organization focused on HIV and AIDS education in the U.S. and India.
HRC thanks Dr. Murthy for his tireless advocacy on behalf of all Americans, including LGBTQ people, and congratulates Trent-Adams on becoming the first nurse to serve as Surgeon General.