Dr. Eugene Gu, who sued President Donald Trump for blocking him on Twitter, had his five-year residency at Vanderbilt University cut short after three years.
According to The Tennessean, the university decided not to renew Gu’s residency in a move he equates to being fired.
“If you don’t complete all five years of your general surgery residency, you don’t get credit for partial completion or anything like that. It’s just like not doing residency at all,” Gu explained to The Hill.
While the university told The Tennessean that the decision had nothing to do with Trump and everything to do with his work performance and professionalism, Gu isn’t convinced.
Gu said the “take-home message” is that there’s an “unwritten rule,” which is that residents are supposed to make the program and hospital look good even if that means staying silent.
“But as an Asian-American physician, unlike a white doctor, I don’t always have the same luxury to stay silent,” he said.
After repeatedly criticizing Trump on social media, the president blocked Gu. But along with six others, he sued Trump and won.
“When we first filed a lawsuit to defend our First Amendment rights, a big segment of the general public was almost mocking us, saying it was frivolous, and the stupidest lawsuit in the world,” Gu told The Tennessean.
In September 2017, Gu posted a photo on Twitter of him taking a knee “to fight white supremacy.”
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) September 24, 2017
He later tweeted about taking a knee and called it “absolutely unconscionable for Vanderbilt to fire me for peacefully protesting against racism.”
John Howser, a spokesperson for the hospital, refuted Gu’s claims and said it’s “simply untrue” that his political or social views affected his employment.