A top body of Indian-American doctors has expressed shock and disappointment over the Trump administration's dismissal of physician Vivek Murthy as the US Surgeon General.
Murthy, 39, the first Indian-American appointed by the Obama regime as the Surgeon General, was dismissed last week to bring new leadership to the vital public health sector.
The American Association of Physicians of Indian-origin (AAPI) in a statement on Monday said it was "shocked and saddened" by the departure of Murthy as the US Surgeon General, to which he was nominated by the previous Obama Administration and confirmed by the US Senate.
"On behalf of the AAPI, I want to applaud the many contributions and initiatives of Dr Vivek Murthy, our AAPI member, in the healthcare sector in very short span of about two years since he became US Surgeon General in 2014," said AAPI President Ajay Lodha.
Murthy played a key role in bringing to the forefront many crucial health issues confronting the nation.
Murthy's report on addiction, released in November, had said that dependency on opioids and other substances must not be looked on as a "character flaw", and was the first publication from a surgeon general that addressed drug and alcohol addiction, the statement by AAPI said.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley in a statement said Murthy had been a dynamic and outstanding surgeon general and was an inspiration, not only to the Indian American community, but to the entire medical and healthcare community.
He said that from speaking out about the need for funding for public health crises to promoting physical fitness and walkable communities, Murthy worked tirelessly to improve the health of the American people.
"I've had the great pleasure of working closely with Murthy, including welcoming him to my district where we met with New York health leaders to discuss Zika, the opioid epidemic, and other key health priorities affecting my constituents," Crowley said.
Murthy is the second Indian-American to be fired by the Trump administration from a senior position. The first one was the US Attorney from New York, Preet Bharara, who was sacked after he refused to resign.