The following letter was sent to members and supporters of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) by Dr. Quentin D. Young.
Dear PNHP members and friends,
The report this week that President-elect Obama is considering Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, for the position of U.S. surgeon general is deeply troubling.
Among our concerns are these:
- He has very little background in public health, preventive medicine or administration.
- He has openly opposed progressive health reform, going so far as to cite false information to denigrate single payer (e.g. in his error-laden attack on Michael Moore’s film “Sicko”) and parroting the health insurance lobby’s distortions of single payer.
- As a media figure, he has been disturbingly cozy with Big Pharma. He co-hosts Turner Private Networks’ monthly show “Accent Health,” which airs in doctors’ offices around the country and which serves as a major conduit for targeted ads from the drug companies. Another example: In 2003, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, he publicly downplayed concerns about the dangers of Vioxx. It was removed from the market a year later by its manufacturer, Merck.
- In the 2008 election campaign, his reporting on John McCain’s health proposals was misleading and implicitly positive, giving undeserved credence to McCain’s claims that buying private health insurance on the open market is a financially viable option for most Americans.
We urge you to write to President-elect Obama and express your opposition to Gupta’s possible nomination, and to urge Obama to nominate a more acceptable candidate for this critically important post. You can do so by clicking here: http://change.gov/page/s/healthcare.
Quentin D. Young, M.D.
PNHP National Coordinator