Obama’s Top-Doc Pick Sanjay Gupta: He Made His Bones Covering Katrina

No one can say Dr. Sanjay Gupta hasn’t paid his dues – at least in the news department.

CNN’s chief medical reporter, who’s also a neurosurgeon, is atop Barack Obama’s list of candidates for U.S. surgeon general.

“You have to be really smart,” says Dr. Gupta of surviving natural disasters.

“You have to be really smart,” says Dr. Gupta of surviving natural disasters.

As The Washington Post first reported today, Dr. Gupta was approached by the president-elect’s transition team about the cabinet position late last year in Chicago.

And though he has yet to com- ment on the re- port, CNN con- firmed Obama’s overtures toward Dr. Gupta.

So if he jumps from journalism to government, rest assured he’s up to the task.

While chatting with SAJA host Sree Sreenivasan in September about covering Hurricane Gustav, Dr. Gupta dismissed the notion that such assignments are glamorous.

“During Hurricane Katrina, I slept in a building that was on lockdown, that had no air-conditioning, no power – in the August New Orleans heat,” he said.

“For several days, I slept in my car . . . There’s nothing open. There’s no stores, no restaurants.  You can’t get food.  You can’t wash your clothes. The things you take for granted are all of a sudden all gone.”

To hear Dr. Gupta’s full interview, click here.

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