Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, took himself out of consideration as the next surgeon general of the United States, an administration official told CNN and other networks Thursday.
Several other candidates are now under serious consideration, including Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, according to The New York Times.
"Sanjay Gupta was under serious consideration for the job of surgeon general," the unnamed official said in an e-mail to CNN. "He has removed himself from consideration to focus more on his medical career and his family. We know he will continue to serve and educate the public through his work with media and in the medical arena."
Gupta has declined comment, but CNN announced he’ll be appearing on the “Larry King” show Thursday night.
Gupta met then-President-elect Obama in Chicago, Illinois, in November to discuss the post, but after a flurry of media speculation, there had been no disclosures since then. At the time, the transition team was impressed with Gupta’s name recognition as a TV doctor, as well as his extensive reporting experience in war zones and elsewhere.
Gupta also had some Democrat credentials: He served as a White House fellow in 1997 and a special adviser to then-first lady Hillary Clinton, along with his medical career as a neurosurgeon and his communication skills, the transition source said. In addition to his work on CNN, Gupta also appears on the ”CBS Evening News” and writes columns in Time magazine. He is paid for speaking engagements, a controversial practice for a journalist. The All American Talent and Celebrity Network lists his speaking fees as $30,001 to $50,000, the Times reported.
Gupta is a member of the staff and faculty of the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. He regularly performs surgery at Emory University Hospital and at Grady Memorial Hospital, where he serves as associate chief of neurosurgery.
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