Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is holding President Obama’s pick for surgeon general, saying that the choice is too political for a post that needs to serve all Americans.
Dr. Vivek Murthy is the co-founder of Doctors for America, “born out of the campaign organization Doctors for Obama, a project of the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress,” Paul noted in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The doctors group has worked closely with Organizing for America.
“The majority of Dr. Murthy’s non-clinical experience is in political advocacy,” Paul wrote. “…I have outstanding questions about who is funding these organizations, and it is clear that more transparency is needed from a group whose influence frequently impacts appointments in the Obama Administration.”
“The primary policy goals of Dr. Murthy’s organization have been focused on advancing stricter gun control laws and promoting the Affordable Care Act,” the senator continued. “In his efforts to curtail Second Amendment rights, Dr. Murthy has continually referred to guns as a public health issue on par with heart disease and has diminished the role of mental health in gun violence. As a physician, I am deeply concerned that he has advocated that doctors use their position of trust to ask patients, including minors, details about gun ownership in the home. His organization has also advocated that physicians collect and report data on gun ownership to the Federal Government and increasing Federal funding for gun control research.”
Paul added that “historically, the Surgeon General of the United States has been a position with the purpose of educating Americans so that they may lead healthier lives, rather than advancing a political agenda.”
“Dr. Murthy has disqualified himself from being Surgeon General because of his intent to use that position to launch an attack on Americans’ right to own a firearm under the guise of a public health and safety campaign,” he wrote.
“Accordingly, I will object to any unanimous consent agreement or the waiver of any rule with respect to the nomination of Dr. Murthy.”