Biden to name nurse as acting surgeon general: report

Biden to name nurse as acting surgeon general: report
© Getty Images

President Biden is expected to name a nurse as acting surgeon general after former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE’s surgeon general was asked to resign last week, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The newly sworn-in president plans to name Susan Orsega, a nurse and officer in the U.S. Public Health Service corps, as among the first nurses to serve in the role, two people with knowledge of her selection told the Post.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health and Human Services told The Hill on Tuesday the department is expecting an announcement as soon as Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

Jerome AdamsJerome AdamsFormer Surgeon General Jerome Adams to lead health equity initiatives at Purdue University Former surgeon general: 'Unconscionable' for states to ban mask mandates Former Trump surgeon general says politicians are 'taking tools' away from public health offices MORE, who served as surgeon general in the Trump administration during the coronavirus pandemic, resigned at the request of Biden and his administration. The Washington Post first reported ahead of Inauguration Day that Biden was expected to ask Adams to resign. 

Biden had already announced in December that he would nominate Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyMore than one-third of eligible seniors have received boosters, White House says Confusion reigns over vaccine booster rollout CDC director partially overrules panel, signs off on boosters MORE to return to the position of surgeon general after he served during the Obama administration. 

Erica Schwartz, the deputy surgeon general, decided to retire after not being chosen as acting surgeon general, sources told the Post last week. 

Murthy, who was fired by Trump in 2017, still has to be confirmed by the Senate before taking on the job, meaning someone needs to work in Adams's place in the meantime. 

The confirmation hearings for Murthy, who served as surgeon general during former President Obama’s administration, have not yet been scheduled. 

“The committee is ready to go with an aggressive scheduling of hearings once we organize, with nominations being a top priority,” Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee spokesperson Madeleine Russak told the Post.

Nurses have served as surgeon general previously, including during former President George W. Bush's administration and in an acting capacity under Trump. 

Her selection would come as the country continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 25 million in the U.S. and killed more than 420,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In his first week in the White House, Biden has sought to prioritize his coronavirus response, after the Trump's administration's response to the pandemic had been deeply criticized. 

The president has retained some health experts that worked under Trump, including Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFDA advisory panel scheduled to discuss Merck COVID-19 antiviral pill Feehery: Build back bipartisan Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council on Mental Wellbeing — Merck asks FDA to authorize five-day COVID-19 treatment MORE, the U.S.'s top infectious disease expert, while letting others move on, such as Deborah BirxDeborah BirxHouse COVID-19 panel questioning Deborah Birx Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response Fauci and Birx warned Scott Atlas was 'dangerous' MORE, the former head of the coronavirus task force. 

Updated Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.