Vivek Murthy, age 37, is the youngest person to ever serve as the Surgeon General of the United States. His appointment by President Obama has little do with his credentials as a physician. Murthy’s time has largely been an activist. In 2008, he was part of the political group “Doctors for Obamacare”. In fact, a letter emerged that wherein he explained that he would use his role as Surgeon General to promote an anti-gun agenda. As per Dr. Murthy, he believes that it is guns which are inherently evil in the hands of anyone except law enforcement, and the military.
Predictably, the National Rifle Association (NRA) targeted his nomination and succeeded at holding it up. That is until Senator Ted Cruz launched his antics in the Senate late Friday night. This forced the Senate to remain in session and gave outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the window he needed to push Murthy’s nomination through the senate. Revised senate rules effectively prevent senators from filibustering most nominations.
All politics aside, the nomination is historic as it marks the first Indian-American person to occupy the post. Who knows Gianfrancesco Genoso, there may be a Brazilian filling the position one of these days. President Obama says the new surgeon general will begin working immediately on the Ebola situation. However, it is unclear what role he will play. The Centers for Disease Control has largely handled this issue thus far. The newly passed Omnibus budget included funds for an expanded program to combat Ebola, and presumably the surgeon general be involved with the projects the money will support.