Vivek Hallegere Murthy, a British born Indian-American from Massachusetts, was confirmed by the Senate to be Surgeon General of the United States for a term of four years. After the vote being delayed for a year, the vote occurred on Monday December 15th. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid had delayed the confirmation vote for fear that a vote in favor of Mr. Murthy would hurt Democrats seeking reelection in November. Apparently, Sen. Ted Cruz's move to force members to work all day
Saturday December 13th allowed Senator Reid to expedite Murthy's nomination and 23 others before
recessing for the rest of the year. Had the Senate recessed without considering this nomination, he would not have been confirmed in the new Republican controlled Senate.
Only one Republican, Mark Kirk of Illinois, voted for the confirmation. Three Democrats, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, opposed the confirmation.
Dr. Murthy has limited medical experience and that was sited by some who opposed his nomination. Lamar Alexander said, “Unfortunately, Dr. Murthy’s experience does not demonstrate the leadership and knowledge of public health that we expect from our surgeons general.”
Murthy is only 36 years old and has not distinguished himself as a doctor. However, he has been a stanch supporter of President Obama and is pro-abortion rights and a vocal opponent of gun rights. In 2008 he founded the group “Doctors for Obama” to help elect the president and after Obama’s election, he renamed the group to “Doctors for America.” The group has a membership of 16,000 with members in all 50 states. This group supported Obamacare. Murthy has taken the view that gun violence is a public health issue and he has advocated various gun control measures. The NRA opposed his confirmation.