Yesterday the Senate approved Vivek Murthy as U.S. surgeon general over opposition from Republicans and the National Rifle Association for his statements calling guns a public health issue.
Murthy has been endorsed by more than 100 health organizations, including the American College of Physicians, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.
However, Murthy’s political advocacy for Obama and past statements on gun control slowed his nomination. In 2008, he co-founded Doctors for Obama, a group of doctors and medical students who supported Obama’s campaign. The group has transitioned to Doctors for America after Obama won. The group supported the Affordable Care Act. Today it boasts 16,000 members in all 50 states.
Murthy has drawn opposition from the National Rifle Association for his support of stricter gun laws, including an assault weapons ban, and a number of his past public statements asserting guns are a public health issue. “America’s next surgeon general should not be a political operative whose professional inexperience has been a source of bipartisan concern,” said Andrew Arulanandam of the NRA.