With all due respect DrSteveB, you're wrong.
You make it sound as if Dr. Gupta will be creating health policy... as if he'll have a chance to set an agenda, send a favor to Pharma, do some negative harm to the public health.
Let me explain to you in the simplest terms I can exactly what the Surgeon General does: SALES!!!
And as any good salesman will tell you, they're not responsible for the product they're shilling, their bosses are, and in this case the Bossman is Barack Obama with the Direct Report incoming secretary Tom Daschle.
SO PLEASE CHILL OUT ON THE NEGATIVITY!!!
From the Horse's Mouth
The Surgeon General serves as America's chief health educator by providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury.
Quick, can anyone tell me the name of the current Surgeon General???? No? I didn't think so... guess what then, the current Surgeon General is a MASSIVE FAIL if for no other reason than he's NOT doing his JOB which is to EDUCATE, i.e. Sell the American Public through Media and other avenues on Better Health Practices.
You can't EDUCATE if you can't COMMUNICATE....
The reason why Dr. Gupta is perfectly qualified for his post is because He Has Established Media Credentials, Natural Salemanship, and he regularly EDUCATES the Public on health matters already.
He's in Sales Now... and he'll be in Sales in the future. At CNN, he writes his own Material. As Surgeon General, he'll be reading material written for him by staff and approved by the two Bosses.
When Obama instructs Gupta to go forth and expound Preventative Health, Gupta will do that, ON TV where people will actually listen and GET EDUCATED
When Obama and Daschle ask Gupta to go forth and sell his health care plan, Gupta will do that as well as any other Doctor you or I know because the Public already Knows and Trusts Gupta.
There is some really big shit coming down the pike in the way of Health Care Reform. Johnny Q Doctor ain't going to cut it, we need a front man, a media figure...
Just like CIA needs a real manager to clean house and shape shit up, Dascle needs a natural salesman to get the policy put into place.
I now hope you all understand more clearly exactly what it is Dr. Gupta will be doing as our incoming Surgeon General.