U.S. Senator and ophthalmologist Dr. Rand Paul has taken aim at, and placed a hold on, President Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy – a 36-year-old man who has been a visible leftist political advocate and outspoken critic of Americans’ right to bear arms.
On Wednesday, Paul wrote Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to express his objection to making Murthy “the Nation’s Doctor,” saying, “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,” Paul wrote.
Last year, Murthy tweeted the following:
Doctors, med students crafting strategies for getting to yes on gun violence laws. Grassroots in action. #dr4a pic.twitter.com/H5mrh9VDLA
— Vivek Murthy (@vivek_murthy) April 21, 2013
Paul’s letter to Reid addressed Murthy’s political activism and read, in part:
I have serious concerns about Dr. Murthy’s ability to impartially serve as “the Nation’s Doctor”. The majority of Dr. Murthy’s non-clinical experience is in political advocacy. As you know, Dr. Murthy is the co-founder of Doctors for America, born out of the campaign organization Doctors for Obama, and it is a project of the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress and has worked closely with Organizing for America, President Obama’s political organization. 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. 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.
Fox News contributor, Dr. Manny Alvarez, went even further than Paul in questioning Murthy’s qualifications to be “America’s Doctor.”
Alvarez slammed Obama’s nominee, writing for Fox News on Wednesday, “In my opinion, [Murthy] would not even qualify to run a department at an academic medical center at this point in his career.”
At the ripe old age of 36, Murthy would not even come close to being picked to run any medical department, in any academic medical center in this country. This is not because he is a bad doctor, but simply because he has not contributed enough, published enough or healed enough to qualify him to be a medical leader.
To me, health care should be 80 percent science and 20 percent politics – not the other way around. I hope that the president reconsiders this nomination and instead chooses a doctor who better personifies the greatness of America’s medical and scientific achievements.
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