By Larry Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation
Senate Democrats really want to go out with a bang. Considering that they are about to lose their majority in the U.S. Senate, one would think they would attempt to pass some meaningful legislation that would preserve their legacy before the Republicans take over in January. However, some news outlets are reporting that Majority Leader Reid is instead going to make a last ditch effort to confirm President Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy.
A Yale-educated internist, the 36-year-old physician is also a professor at Harvard Medical School. However, he has become more well-known for his political credentials than his medical expertise, even serving as the president and founder of Doctors for America, an advocacy group offshoot of Obama’s Organizing for America, which has since been renamed “Organizing for Action.” Murthy’s group of course marches in lockstep with the White House’s agenda on a sweeping array of issues that have nothing to do with public health.
Dr. Murthy’s nomination has been in limbo for over a year after certain Senators raised serious concerns about his qualifications for the position. And, in light of recent public health crises plaguing the country such as Ebola, they have good reason to second guess Dr. Murthy, for fear that he will simply be another political appointee to advance President Obama’s agenda. That the acting Surgeon General, a career civil servant, is superbly qualified for the position can hardly be questioned.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has opposed Dr. Murthy’s nomination because his past activism demonstrates that he would likely misuse the office of Surgeon General to advance President Obama’s political views. Murthy’s record as a gun control activist is clear, once saying “guns are a health care issue.”
His fervent but incorrect assertion that access to guns is a public health issue is clear evidence that he is not the right person for the job. In October, a national poll commissioned by NSSF found that eight out of ten Americans believe that “gun violence” is a criminal justice issue, not a public health one. Should he be confirmed as Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy will no doubt commit himself to wasting taxpayer resources in pursuing an agenda that is completely out of sync with the American people.
Senate Democrats are looking to do something big before they leave office. However, forcing through Murthy’s nomination is simply a big mistake.