US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the nation’s youngest and first Indian American Surgeon General, was asked to resign on Friday by President Donald Trump, just a little more than halfway into his four year term.
Murthy served just over two years as US Surgeon General after being appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013; however, Murthy’s Senate confirmation faced stiff resistance due in part to Murthy’s public position that the nation’s epidemic of gun violence is a public health issue. Murthy was finally confirmed in December 2014 after over a year of political bickering and delays from Senate Republicans, and he took the office of US Surgeon General on December 18, 2014.
On Friday, Murthy posted a public statement on Facebook thanking his supporters and colleagues for his two years and four months in office.
It is unclear why Trump had Murthy removed from his office as US Surgeon General. By all accounts, Murthy was a successful US Surgeon General, with clear vision for how he had planned to use the office to advance American public health.
In a joint letter delivered to the president yesterday (and shared to NBC News Asian America), 10 out of the remaining 14 members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) courageously resigned in protest of President Trump’s recent spate of laws targeting Muslims, immigrants, refugees and other people of colour. The ten commissioners join six additional commissioners who resigned their posts on January 20th when President Trump was first inaugurated.
That means that due to his hateful and intolerant policies, President Trump has in the first three weeks of his presidency just lost 80% of his Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
In an understated YouTube video (after the jump) released by the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), US Secretary of Education John King Jr announced that the federal government is putting $1 million dollars towards the fight to disaggregate AAPI data.
The statistics on mental health in the Asian American community are staggering, if well-known to regular readers of this blog: Asian American women have the highest rate of depression and suicide among women of any race; Southeast Asian American refugees have high rates of PTSD and twice the national suicide rate; at a rate higher than youths of any race, two thirds of Native Alaskan & Pacific Islander LGBTQ youths have attempted suicide. More Asian American college students than White students report feeling sad when surveyed, and these rates rise to nearly 80% of survey respondents when asking Southeast Asian Americans. Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death for Asian Americans, compared to 10th for other racial groups.
Asian Americans are among the least likely of patients to seek treatment for depression, and when they do are arriving with more severe symptoms suggesting they wait longer before asking for help. In one study, only 2% of Asian Americans are willing to self-report symptoms of depression to their doctor — nearly seven times less than White patients.
Yesterday, the White House’s Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) posted this post on the White House’s official blog. The post was written by Kiran Ahuj, WHIAAPI’s Executive Director.
Since 2001, Reappropriate has been the web's foremost Asian American activism, identity, feminism, and pop culture blog!