March 7, 2009 / 4:27 AM / 10 years ago

Dean under consideration for surgeon general: report

Howard Dean speaks at the Democratic National Committee annual fall meeting in Vienna, Virginia, November 30, 2007. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Vermont governor Howard Dean was under consideration by the Obama administration for U.S. surgeon general, CNN reported on Friday, but a source said he was not interested in the post.

Dean, a practicing physician before he entered politics, recently wrapped up a four-year term as Democratic Party chairman, has been a supporter of health reform.

CNN said he had privately made clear that he is interested in the job. But a source close to Dean told Reuters he was not.

“It’s a position that he is not interested in and the White House knows that’s a position he is not interested in,” the source said, noting Dean stated he was not the right the person for the post when his name was mentioned last December.

CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Thursday withdrew his name from consideration for the post to focus more on his family and career as a surgeon.

The surgeon general leads the 6,000-member commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and is the top federal government spokesman on matters of public health.

Reporting by Christopher Doering, editing by Anthony Boadle

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