Nomination of Vivek Hallegere Murthy to Be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, Subject to Qualifications Therefor as Provided By Law and Regulations, and to Be…by Senator Michael B. Enzi
Posted on 2014-12-15
ENZI. Mr. President, I wish to express my opposition to the
nomination of Vivek Murthy to be Surgeon General.
While Dr. Murthy may have future promise as both a physician and public health expert, I have serious concerns about his current qualifications, as well as his choices regarding public health advocacy.
One former Surgeon General, Dr. Richard Carmona, shared a letter with the Senate highlighting his opposition to the nomination. In his words, ``The nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy is a physician very early in his career with great promise but no formal public health education training, leadership or management experience.'' He goes on to say, ``His partisanship and lack of qualifications for the job of Surgeon General give this nomination the scent of political patronage.'' This insight, from someone who served in that position, is concerning.
Dr. Murthy's main public policy and public health activity to date has been to use the group he founded, Doctors for America, to promote President Obama's campaign to advocate for expansive gun control, going so far as to even recommend that doctors counsel their patients about gun ownership. He is entitled to his opinion, but the opinion of the Surgeon General becomes something much more significant.
At a time when our Nation is at risk from deadly chronic conditions, dangerous disease outbreaks like Ebola, and the ever-present threat of public health disasters and pandemics, this is not the moment to devalue the role of the Surgeon General. The person who serves as Surgeon General must be someone Americans can trust. But Dr. Murthy, so far, has not demonstrated that he is capable of fulfilling that role, and so I must oppose his nomination at this time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, all postcloture time is expired.
The question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the nomination of Vivek Hallegere Murthy, of Massachusetts, to be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, subject to qualifications therefor as provided by law and regulations, and to be Surgeon General of the Public Health Service? Mr. RISCH. I ask for the yeas and nays.