Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, has appeared in a campaign advertisement for his brother and made the maximum campaign donation to his brother’s campaign. His brother, Suneel Gupta, is running for Congress as a Democrat in Michigan’s 11th congressional district, a toss-up seat being vacated by Representative David Trott (R-MI).
The Daily Caller first reported on Dr. Gupta’s advertisement appearance.
In the advertisement, Dr. Gupta discusses Rise, a technology health care company that he helped his brother found. Dr. Gupta also notes that, “If people think of him as my little brother that makes me really proud, but I think there’s a lot of people who are going to be referring to me as his older brother and that will make me even doubly proud.”
A review of Federal Election Commission records indicate that Dr. Gupta also donated the legal maximum to his brother’s campaign, $2,700 for the primary and $2,700 for the general election. Dr. Gupta’s wife, Rebecca Olson Gupta, also donated the legal maximum of a combined $5,400. Dr. Gupta listed his employer as Emory where he serves as an assistant professor of neurosurgery.
CNN spokesperson Neel Khairzada said in an email to TKNN, “On a case by case basis, CNN will allow staff to support candidates if they are immediate family members.”
While Dr. Gupta is a medical correspondent, he has reported on political stories. He regularly reported on the Affordable Care Act (more popularly known as Obamacare) and interviewed then-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius following the botched rollout of the website. He was praised at the time for his tough interview.
In 2016, the Columbia Journalism Review reported on members of the media who donated to presidential candidates and the varying policies of news organizations. However, CNN’s was clear as spokesperson Bridget Leininger told CJR, CNN “does not allow editorial staff to contribute to candidates or political parties.”
This post has been updated with a statement from CNN.