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US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy

Tuesday, April 16, 2024
7:30pm Pacific Time
KQED Broadcast: 05/19/2024

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Arguably America’s most significant doctor, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has issued a powerful warning against social media’s negative physical and mental health impacts, especially among young people. Thankfully, Dr. Murthy is offering potential ways out of what he sees as a loneliness epidemic.

As the 19th and 21st U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy has faced some of the most difficult health crises in recent history. Vice Admiral Murthy, appointed by Presidents Obama and Biden, shaped the federal response to the opioid epidemic, the rise of e-cigarettes, the Flint Michigan water crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. He also co-founded Doctors for America, which works to promote more affordable health care, and TrialNetworks, a biotechnology company that helps improve clinical drug trials. Dr. Murthy has written about and spoken on the negative health effects of loneliness, calling it an “epidemic” that increases the risk of early death and other social problems. He has also pushed to reduce access to social media for young children, pointing out the harmful effects of bullying, a lack of in-person interactions, and harassment.

David Greene is host of the weekly public radio program and podcast Left, Right & Center, whose mission is to remind us that we can still listen to one another — even when we disagree, and even in this political climate. For nearly a decade, Greene hosted NPR’s Morning Edition as well as the podcast Up First. An award-winning journalist, he was NPR’s Moscow Bureau Chief, and has covered a range of subjects and events, from the Arab Spring to President George W. Bush, to Hilary Clinton’s campaign in the historic 2008 election.