A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said Murthy was asked to resign after ‘assisting in a smooth transition’.
The Trump administration has removed Dr Vivek Murthy as US surgeon general, leading one Democratic senator to accuse the president of “politicising the position”.
Murthy was appointed by Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December 2014 after a long delay. Murthy had incurred the wrath of the National Rifle Association by saying gun control was a “healthcare issue”.
During his tenure, he helped produce a White House report that said climate change had become a public health crisis, and launched Facing Addiction, the first surgeon general’s report on alcohol, drugs and health.
His deputy, rear admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, will serve as acting surgeon general and leader of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, of which Murthy will remain a member.