The Trump administration sure kept it quiet on Friday night when Vivek Murthy was fired as surgeon general and replaced with his deputy. It also wasn't really clear why, and his wife, Alice Chen, tells me they didn't give him any explanation. Yesterday, Murthy confirmed in a Facebook post that he refused to resign when asked. "My reason was simple: because I would never willfully abandon my commitment to my Commissioned Corps officers, to the American people, and to all who have stood with me to build a healthier and more compassionate America," he wrote.
The back story: HHS isn't saying anything else about why Murthy was fired, but the reality is, he has been a target for the right all along. It took him more than a year to be confirmed by the Senate after President Barack Obama nominated him.
- Murthy insisted that gun violence is a public health issue, a position that didn't endear him to the National Rifle Association.
- The Wall Street Journal notes that he had been the head of Doctors for America, a group that pushed hard for the Affordable Care Act.
- Americans for Tax Reform even had an online petition calling on Trump to fire him because of his opposition to e-cigarettes.
The temporary surgeon general: Murthy did say in his Facebook post that Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, who's now the acting surgeon general, "is the right person to step into this role" and that "her deep wealth of experience is matched only by the immense size of her heart."