In a rare show of defiance of the National Rifle Association, the Senate on Monday confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy to serve as surgeon general of the United States. Murthy's nomination had been stalled for nearly a year due to comments he made in support of stricter gun laws. Murthy is a Harvard- and Yale-educated physician, and has identified obesity and chronic disease as areas of focus for his tenure. He will be the first Indian American to hold the position. The Senate voted, 51-43, to confirm Murthy for the nation's top public health post, which has been vacant since July 2013.
President Obama nominated Vivek Murthy to be U.S. surgeon general on November 13, 2013. The Senate health committee signed off on him in February. On Monday, one year, one month, and two days after his selection, the Senate voted to confirm him to a post that had been vacant since July. Like so many of Obama's nominees, Murthy had fallen into a political vortex, subject to an opposition campaign by the NRA over his support for gun-control policies that are far from central to the job informally known as the nation's top doctor. But the absence of a surgeon general had become more conspicuous in recent months, as the Obama administration confronted an Ebola epidemic in West Africa that nearly sparked a public panic when it briefly reached U.S. shores.
At 37 years old, Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy has made history today as the youngest appointed US Surgeon General and the first of Indian descent. The Senate voted tonight 51-43 to confirm Murthy as America’s top doctor after the position was vacant for over a year. Here are seven facts you should know about the 19th US Surgeon General:
The Senate has confirmed Vivek Murthy as United States Surgeon General, overcoming fierce opposition from the National Rifle Association that has blocked the doctor's nomination since February. Obama nominated Murthy, co-founder of the pro-Obamacare group Doctors for America, in November 2013. At 37, he will be the country's youngest surgeon general, and the first of Indian-American descent. The NRA, however, has long opposed Murthy's nomination.