In the face of strong opposition from the powerful gun lobby, the White House is standing by President Barack Obama’s pick for surgeon general, Indian American Vivek Murthy, an ardent supporter of Obama’s healthcare law.
However, it is “recalibrating our approach” as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney put it, to get Murthy, 36, confirmed as “America’s doctor” by the Democratic controlled Senate following the defeat of Debo Adegbile, Obama’s nominee for the nation’s top civil rights post.
If and when confirmed, Murthy would be the first Indian American and the youngest person to become the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the US.
“We expect him to get confirmed ultimately and be one of the country’s most powerful messengers on health and wellness,” Carney said rejecting media reports that the White House was abandoning Murthy’s nomination with some Democrats balking under pressure from the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).
“So we’re recalibrating our approach,” he said noting that Murthy’s nomination was approved by the Senate Health committee with bipartisan support.
“Dr Murthy is a dynamic, entrepreneurial practitioner who had dedicated a lot of time, energy and passion to health and wellness.” Carney said.
“As Surgeon General, he will be a powerful messenger on these issues in each of the tenets of health: nutrition, activity and resilience,” he added.