Vivek Murthy becomes US surgeon general

Vivek Murthy becomes US surgeon general

Indian-American Vivek Murthy has become the youngest-ever US Surgeon General at the age of 37 after getting confirmed by the Senate, despite strong opposition from Republicans and the powerful gun rights lobby.

More than a year after being nominated for the post by US President Barack Obama, Murthy was confirmed as the Surgeon General with 51 votes for him against 43, making him the first Indian-American to serve in the role.

Obama said the confirmation would put the US in a better position to save lives abroad and protect Americans at home, particularly with respect to Ebola.

“Combined with the crucial support for fighting Ebola included in the bill to fund our government next year, Vivek’s confirmation makes us better positioned to save lives around the world and protect the American people here at home,” he said.

“I applaud the Senate for confirming Vivek Murthy to be our country’s next Surgeon General,” the US president said. “As America’s Doctor, Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe.”

Murthy has been endorsed by over a 100 health organisations, including the American College of Physicians, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. “He’ll bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong,” Obama said.

Earlier, Senator Dick Durbin had pitching strongly for Murthy’s confirmation.
The senator praised Murthy for his dedication to fighting obesity, tobacco-related and other chronic diseases, which account for seven out of the top 10 causes of death in the US and make up for 84 per cent of America’s health care costs.

“I believe Dr Murthy understands the importance of the national crises before him and feel confident that his experiences, his training, and his tenacity have provided him the qualifications he needs to tackle these issues, and the many more he’s sure to face, head-on,” Durbin said.

Ami Bera, an Indian-American lawmaker in the current Congress, said he was thrilled about Murthy being in the post of surgeon general.

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