Ben Carson, a conservative firebrand and former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, said even with his extensive medical background, if President Barack Obama came to him and wanted to make him United States Surgeon General Ben Carson, he would decline the offer.
Carson, who has admitted to considering a run for president in 2016, made his surgeon general remarks recently during an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt radio program (video above), according to Mediaite writer Josh Feldman.
“Hewitt asked Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, if he would serve in that position under Obama. Carson said, ‘No, because I would, if I were going to serve in that position, I would have to serve under someone that I trusted.’
“And even with Hewitt saying Obama would hypothetically be telling him he wouldn’t interfere in any way, and he just needs someone to make sure the country is ‘calm and appropriately prepared,’ Carson insisted he would still refuse. He suspected that there are plenty of government officials who are speaking on behalf of the White House and can’t exactly speak their minds right now, because if they did, the country might hear something altogether different.”
Those administration officials apparently include Centers for Disease Control director Tom Frieden, according to The Daily Caller, quoting Ben Carson as saying that the director would probably advocate for a flight ban. (It should be noted that Frieden has not asked for a flight ban and has actually fought against such, noting that it could make the situation with Ebola worst in West Africa.)
“I think if Dr. Frieden were 100 percent free to say what he wanted to say, I think he would be saying some different things…. I think he’d be saying of course, banning flights coming from infected areas makes sense. That would be the first thing he’d say….
“And you know, I think [Frieden] would be concentrating a lot more on finding out exactly what happened to transmit this disease to health care workers…. You know, we still only have a vague notion, and that’s really a very important piece of information to come up with.”
What do you think? Is it right of Carson to decline to serve in the administration if he were to be asked (hypothetical at this point)? And do you think members of the administration are not able to speak their minds? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]