Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been reporting from Mexico about the swine flu/H1N1 virus for CNN, and he called in to The Washington Post’s Rachel Dry to talk about the coverage and precautions.
But he was also asked about the surgeon general position he passed up.
Q: Many of the top public-health official jobs in this administration aren’t filled yet, including the job you might have taken as surgeon general. It seems as though you basically are acting as our nation’s surgeon general.
A: I think in some ways you’re right. And I used to think about that in some ways before the possibility of my being surgeon general even came up. The media has a very unique role, I think, in situations like this. We have to report the news, obviously, but there is a public health role as well, especially for someone like me who is a doctor on the ground here. So that is a lot of what the surgeon general does in situations like this, and with media, we reach a lot of people very quickly, so there is a lot of overlap.