With a Senate committee voting to confirm Dr. Vivek Murthy as the new U.S. surgeon general 13-9 last week, he is expected to win confirmation to the post by the full Senate later this week.
If there were a candidate more perfectly qualified to occupy the bully pulpit as surgeon general in the Obama administration, one would be hard pressed to find him.
Born to Indian parents in Huddersfield, England, Murthy moved with his parents to Miami, Florida, when he was three. A child prodigy, he breezed through high school, graduating in 1994 after being named valedictorian. He attended Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude in just three years with a degree in biochemical sciences. Just seven years later he graduated from the Yale School of Medicine with an M.D. and an MBA from Yale’s School of Management.
Just 27, Murthy then began to apply himself, founding three medical service and support companies: TrialNetworks, Epernicus, and Visions Worldwide. Along the way he made time to found Doctors for Obama in 2008, which gathered some 15,000 physicians from around the country to push then-Senator Barack Obama into the White House, supporting Obama’s healthcare initiative from the very first day. He and his group organized marches on Washington, filed friends of the court briefs before the Supreme Court in favor of ObamaCare, and took strong positions against the Second Amendment.
He began Doctors for Obama because he perceived a vacuum in politics that could and should be filled by liberal doctors who knew best how government ought to run healthcare. He observed,
[I] was struck by how few physicians were organizing and gathering their ideas to actually make an impact on the candidates’ platforms and, ultimately, on a health reform bill….
A few colleagues and I began Doctors for America [the name was changed following Obama’s victory in 2008] with a simple belief that physicians should play a leadership role in designing and running our nation’s health care system.
His virulent anti-gun bias showed up in numerous places, including a tweet from before the 2012 reelection of the president: “[I am] tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue.” His Doctors for America (DFA) has exhibited its extreme agenda, pushing Congress to ban “assault” weapons and “high-capacity” magazines, and spending more tax dollars for more research to prove that fewer guns would lower the crime rate.
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Photo of Vivek Murthy: AP Images