The Clinton administration is preparing to nominate Dr. David Satcher, now director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as both the nation’s surgeon general and assistant secretary of health.
In the past, the positions - both advisers to the president on health issues - have been separate.
White House spokesman Mike McCurry said Friday the administration was considering nominating “someone who, as the military likes to say, would be dualhatted.”
An administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Satcher was the White House’s choice and would take on both jobs.
“It gives the government a powerful spokesman on public health and science, combining both the bully pulpit of the surgeon general and the policy responsibilities of the assistant secretary,” the official said.
He said Satcher is a well-respected health leader with an excellent track record.
The nation’s acting surgeon general, Dr. Audrey Manley, is scheduled to leave office July 1. And Assistant Secretary of Health Philip Lee already has left his post.