Charleston’s program was nationally acknowledged, but it surely was criticized by the town’s mayor when Dr. Gupta was the well being commissioner. Dr. Gupta’s division issued an audit that discovered fault with this system, together with shoddy report preserving, which led to this system’s decertification after the town had already shut it down.
Public well being consultants stated its closure had a chilling impact on different applications, and stored some from getting off the bottom.
As a state well being official, Dr. Gupta had no authority to cease the closure. In a 2018 interview with West Virginia Public Broadcasting shortly earlier than he left the well being commissioner’s job, Dr. Gupta stated that the closure was “not in the very best curiosity of the group” and that needle change applications like Charleston’s shouldn’t be shut down “reactively.”
However critics faulted him for not utilizing his platform forcefully sufficient to defend the program.
Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiologist at Yale College and a longtime AIDS activist, on Tuesday referred to as Dr. Gupta a “horrible selection” who “represents a return to the previous methods of fascinated by drug use in America, and isn’t the forward-thinking chief we’d like proper now.”
Different consultants stated that Dr. Gupta was caught in a tough scenario with the battle over the syringe change. Mr. Raymond, whereas describing the closure of the Charleston program as “a tragedy,” referred to as Dr. Gupta an “wonderful selection.” That evaluation was echoed by Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, a public well being professional at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being who labored with Dr. Gupta to deal with the opioid disaster in West Virginia.
“He is aware of the worth of syringe service applications, he understands the proof on hurt discount and he’s very supportive,” Dr. Sharfstein stated. “West Virginia is a really tough atmosphere for dialogue of those subjects, and he needed to navigate underneath these constraints.”
The White Home introduced the choice of Dr. Gupta in an announcement on Tuesday, together with 10 different nominations, together with that of Jeff Flake, the previous Republican senator from Arizona, to be the ambassador to Turkey and that of the author Atul Gawande to a put up on the U.S. Company for Worldwide Growth.