PEEK

Obama Wants CNN's Sanjay Gupta to Be Surgeon General?

Gupta hosts "House Call" on CNN, contributes reports to CBS News, and writes a column for Time magazine.

President-elect Barack Obama has approached CNN's chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, to be the country's next surgeon general, the cable news network said Tuesday. CNN said it has kept Gupta from reporting on health care policy and other matters involving the incoming Obama administration since learning he was under consideration for the post.

A Democrat with knowledge of the discussions over the surgeon general spot cautioned that there was not yet a final decision on who would fill the post. The person spoke on a condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media on the matter.

Obama's transition office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Gupta hosts "House Call" on CNN, contributes reports to CBS News, and writes a column for Time magazine. He is a neurosurgeon and is on the faculty at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. During the Clinton administration, he was a White House fellow and special adviser to then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The surgeon general typically isn't heavily involved in shaping an administration's policy, but it can be a very effective bully pulpit. Past surgeons general have proved instrumental in battling tobacco and AIDS.

Nico Pitney is National Editor at the Huffington Post.
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