Washington: Indian-American Surgeon General- designate Vivek Murthy has the right combination of medical training and communication skills that will serve the country very well, the White House has said, a day after the 37-year-old was confirmed by the Senate as America's top doctor.
“The President is pleased that we'll have somebody with the kinds of credentials that Dr Murthy has to communicate with the American public about important public health issues,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
“Whether it's Ebola or the Affordable Care Act or getting a shot around flu season, Dr Murthy is somebody that has the right combination of medical training and communication skills that will serve the country and this administration very well,” he said yesterday.
Senate confirmed Murthy by 51 to 43 votes for a four year term despite stiff resistance by the pro-gun lobby led by the National Rifle Association.
At 37, Murthy is not only the youngest-ever Surgeon General but also the first ever Indian-American. As the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, he succeeds acting Surgeon General Boris D Lushniak.
President Barack Obama, who had nominated him in November 2013, yesterday said Murthy's confirmation will better position the nation to save lives abroad and protect Americans at home.
“Having served patients as a practicing physician and having launched pioneering public health and medical research organisations in both the non-profit and private sectors, Dr Murthy has the experience and talents necessary to oversee the US Public Health Service at a time of great challenges,” House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer, said while congratulating him.
“As state and federal officials continue to take steps to prevent the spread of Ebola and help more Americans access basic healthcare, it is critical that we have a surgeon general who can provide sound guidance and direction in responding to our public health challenges,” he said.
“Dr Murthy has shown his commitment and passion for improving healthcare, especially in the areas of mental health, obesity, chronic disease, and vaccinations. I look forward to working with him to serve the health and wellness needs of the American people,” Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard who is currently travelling in India, said.
Murthy was born to parents who are originally from Karnataka. His parents came to the US when he was three years old, and he grew up in Miami, Florida. He received a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and an MD from Yale School of Medicine.
He is currently a practicing physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, as well as the Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.