By MATTHEW DALY | Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved President Barack Obama's nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy to serve as U.S. surgeon general. The 51-43 vote late Monday came despite opposition from some lawmakers over Murthy's support for gun control and past statements calling gun violence a public health concern.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he does not believe America's top doctor should participate in political activism. Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said most of Murthy's career has been spent as an activist focused on gun control and other political issues, rather than on treating patients.
Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they're scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue. #debatehealth
— Vivek Murthy (@vivek_murthy) October 17, 2012
Supporters said Murthy is well-qualified and has promised not to use the position as a bully pulpit for gun control.
Murthy is a 37-year-old physician and instructor at Harvard Medical School.