Vivek Murthy was confirmed as surgeon general of the United States this week after a near party-line vote in the Senate and opposition from the National Rifle Association, which the 37-year-old presidential pick spoke out against during his career as a physician.
Murthy's nomination, which had been bottled up for 17 months, went ahead after a 51-43 Senate vote in favor of confirmation Monday evening. Murthy attended Harvard and Yale and served as a doctor at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, according to The Washington Post.
Opponents complained about Murthy's activism as the founder of Doctors for Obama, a group that backed the president's 2008 campaign, as well as his support of the Affordable Care Act, Politico noted.
The NRA has accused Murthy of being more of an activist than a doctor, pointing to a past rant about guns he once made on Twitter.
Larry Keane, the National Sports Shooting Foundation's senior vice president, told The Hill Monday that he was supporting acting surgeon general
"He has not injected himself" into the politics of gun control, Keane said of Lushniak. "We actually think the acting surgeon general is very capable and a better candidate because it has not become political."
One Republican, Illinois' Mark Kirk, voted for Murthy while three Democrats — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — all voted against the nomination.
"There are severe gaps in his basic qualifications that we as a country expect from our doctor of the nation — including experience in public health education training and management," Heitkamp said in a statement, according to Politico. "Dr. Murthy is a talented individual who I have no doubt has a promising career ahead of him."
Murthy did, however, receive support from public health organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association.
"[Murthy will] bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "Vivek will also help us build on the progress we've made combating Ebola, both in our country and at its source."
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