Thanks To the NRA, The US Has No Surgeon General Overseeing the Ebola Threat

Vivek-Hallegere-Murthy

There has been no dearth of pundits using various media forums to discuss the arrival of the deadly Ebola virus in America, and they have had a fair measure of success frightening a surprisingly large segment of the population. Republicans and their conservative cabal have even combined their ISIL fear-mongering with their immigration fear-mongering to distract Americans going into an important midterm election. Except for the medical researchers and infectious disease scientists from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institute of Health (NIH), there has been precious little information from real medical professionals of any repute that could relieve the rising fear and anxiety among the population that knows little about the virus, or what precautions they need, if any, to protect themselves and their families.

Although experts claim there is little reason for panic of a devastating outbreak of the deadly virus in America, a recent Harvard poll revealed that 39% of American adults are worried about a large-scale outbreak and over 25% are mortified that an immediate family member will be stricken with the infectious virus and die.  What America needs at times like this is a trusted public health expert and medical professional to educate the public about the risk of contracting Ebola and reassure them that there is little to worry about and what steps to take to stay safe and Ebola-free.

On Sunday morning political shows, it was left to an official with the Obama administration, senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer, to talk about the deadly Ebola virus. Obviously, Pfeiffer’s political expertise does not qualify him to reassure the public about a potential infectious disease  health crisis, and it may have led one to wonder exactly where “America’s doctor,” the Surgeon General of the United States, is hiding and why they are not stepping into the spotlight to put Americans’ minds at ease. The truth is this nation has not had a Surgeon General for a year, but not because President Obama failed to appoint an extremely qualified candidate; he did last November. However, the National Rifle Association, no Americans’ idea of an organization concerned with the health and safety or preventing even one American citizen’s death, issued an edict to Senate Republicans that a vote to confirm the President’s appointee meant an immediate end to their political career. Going into a hotly contested midterm election, Senate Republicans did precisely as their NRA masters dictated and made sure America will not have a Surgeon General unless they support spreading the epidemic of gun deaths in America.

Last November 14th, the President nominated Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, an extremely qualified candidate to replace ‘acting’ Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin. It took three months, but the Senate finally got around to holding a confirmation hearing for Dr. Murthy’s appointment. However, the National Rifle Association exerted its very substantial legislative prerogative and blocked Murthy’s confirmation because he does not recognize that the NRA is “fourth and all-powerful branch of the federal government” and called for sane gun restrictions to prevent more Americans from dying unnecessarily from the gun violence epidemic. It is exactly what a real medical professional, and highly-qualified potential Surgeon General of the United States, is supposed to do; help prevent a deadly epidemic from spreading to save American lives.

The fear among the public of widespread deaths from Ebola is curious, especially when there is a legitimate national epidemic of gun violence leading to widespread deaths among the American population. It is noteworthy that there has been exactly one Ebola death in America, and yet according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, at least 32 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 140 are treated for gun assaults in emergency rooms. The  cost to America’s youth in deaths are an average of eight children and teens under the age of 20 are killed by guns every day, and the lifetime medical cost for the victims of the gun violence epidemic is over $2.3 billion with a little over half the costs being borne by taxpayers.

Medical professionals, including America’s doctors in emergency trauma centers like Vivek H. Murthy, get to see the firearm epidemic’s death and destruction first hand and understand the real toll of the gun violence epidemic. The NRA purported that Dr. Murthy is “picking on poor gun fanatics,” but doctors do not discriminate and advise motorcyclists to wear helmets, warn Americans not to drink and drive, and suggest that all Americans to eat healthier in order to live longer in relatively productive and active lives. Speaking out about the gun violence epidemic to protect Americans is no different except that it is contrary to what the real power in Washington will allow to stand.

Obviously, Republicans are going to block any Obama nominee according to their race-driven obstructionism, but coupled with their dedication to the NRA and fear of crossing the second most powerful arm of government after the Koch brothers, Murthy will never get a vote until he calls for every man, woman, and child to carry loaded firearms in public. However, another part of the problem is a few red-state Democrats who are mortified of displeasing their NRA Senate leaders and were more intently focused on their re-elections back in January than confirming a Surgeon General intently focused on slowing the epidemic of gun deaths in America.

Administration officials claim that they “are recalibrating our strategy around his (Murthy’s) floor vote,” and added that “a range of options was being discussed.” They include working with less-timid Democratic leaders to offer gifts to red-state Democrats for a confirmation vote, delaying a vote until after midterm elections so Republicans can possibly forbid any nominee from being confirmed, “allowing” the highly-qualified Dr. Murthy to withdraw, or just let the NRA appoint and confirm Ted Nugent as United  States Surgeon General and bypass the Senate. That is how horribly dysfunctional and fearful Washington has become of Republicans and their masters; look for a range of options to garner support so Americans can have the luxury of a qualified Surgeon General.

After the news yesterday that Democrats were finally informing Americans that it is ten years’ worth of Republican cuts to the CDC and NIH budgets that prevented them from already having a vaccine available to halt “the Ebola virus in its tracks,” maybe they will find the courage to inform Americans why they have no Surgeon General. One liberal pundit mysteriously assailed the Obama Administration for not fighting harder for Murthy’s confirmation in one breath, and then wondered why on Earth the President appointed a highly-qualified candidate he knew the NRA would not confirm. Washington is badly broken.

It is a sad state of affairs when Republicans and their NRA masters are able to wield such powerful influence over some Democrats that they will not vote to confirm Dr. Murthy. Ebola is not an epidemic in America and a trusted Surgeon General would ease the fear and anxiety among the growing number of Americans worried they or their families will contract and succumb to the virus. However, because the qualified Surgeon General candidate believes easing the proliferation of guns driving the real American epidemic killing over a hundred Americans daily and injuring even more, the National Rifle Association, Republicans, and a few gun-shy Democrats will not allow his confirmation.

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60 Replies to “Thanks To the NRA, The US Has No Surgeon General Overseeing the Ebola Threat”

  1. Another example of the republican senate not having enough balls to do the right thing. Our elected members allowing outside groups to make decisions for them because they are worried about their jobs. If they were doing their jobs in the first place they would not have to worry about anything.

  2. Not only do we not have a surgeon general but we also have thousands of innocent people getting murdered by firearms just to feed the small ego’s of paranoid god fearin’ small penis cowards and to add the coffers of the Conservative crooks. The NRA has become a health hazard as well as a mental health hazard and it is high time we take the NRA out to the woods and do a double tap on it.

  3. Tired of Republican Killing policies yet?
    FACT: Republican budget cutting nearly halved Center for Disease Control’s, CDC’s emergency preparedness since 2006 resulting in killing people due to lack of vaccines for Ebola, Lyme, West Nile vaccines, and lack of public education on vaccines for childhood diseases. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/13/1336299/-Republican-budget-cutting-nearly-halved-CDC-s-emergency-preparedness-since-2006?detail=facebook
    FACT: Republican Pro Monsanto GMO and anti labeling of food policy are killing people. Key study has passed through three peer reviews
    http://www.alternet.org/food/major-study-demonstrates-monsanto-gmo-corn-product-can-cause-damage-liver-and-kidneys-and?akid=12007.277680.WyDBnV&rd=1&src=newsletter1010773&t=12

  4. “over 25% are mortified that an immediate family member will be stricken with the infectious virus and die”

    Wrong use of the word “mortified”.

    I would more like likely be terrified, but I would definitely not be embarrassed, ashamed, or humiliated.

  5. Democrats hold the majority in the Senate, not Republicans! Low information voter? Harry Reid won’t bring the nominee up for hearings. If you have a valid nominee why fear the NRA? It is precisely times like the Ebola outbreak American’s need a Surgeon General!

  6. Can you read?
    After President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy to be the next Surgeon General of the United States, a man described by the New York Times as “an internist and political ally,” Texas Senator John Cornyn and the National Rifle Association are joining forces to block the approval of the nomination according to statements they made to Breitbart Texas.In late February, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) engaged a procedural process known as “a hold” to stop the nomination from moving forward. – See more at: http://www.texasgopvote.com/issues/stop-big-government/cornyn-and-nra-join-block-obamas-anti-gun-surgeon-general-nominee-006490#sthash.rsdF8dkq.dpuf

  7. There’s a vaccine for Ebola Ronda? You should inform the Surgeon General! Oh, we don’t have one. Maybe call Oprah!

  8. “Wrong use of the word “mortified”.”

    Not at all. Look at a fuller list of adjectives:

    “humiliated, embarrassed, shamed, crushed, annoyed, humbled, horrified, put down, put out…”

    Notice the “horrified” adjective, General?

    Dismissed.

  9. What a moronic article.

    The SG is nothing but a figurehead with no power over anything.

    The SG does public service announcements and is an advisor to the Secretary of HHS.

    Using Ebola to attack the NRA is about as low as one can go considering the seriousness of the Ebola situation.

  10. Does the Congress also have to confirm? Maybe that’s why Reid won’t bring it to a vote, bec. the Congress won’t confirm.

  11. This is where people get confused. When Reid changed the filibuster rules it was only for judges so if he brought up the nomination the teadidist can still block it because of the 60 vote rule. This is what is disingenuous with their argument. They are either ignorant or just plain liars

  12. Reid never put it to a vote. It is Reid’s fault.

    Stop being so blind to facts.

    Face it, this administration is killing this country.

  13. I have to correct myself the filibuster rules do allow up and down votes for cabinet level positions. The Surgeon General is not a cabinet level position but still has to be confirmed by the Senate.

    Now even though there are a number of blue dog Democrats who are pissing their pants about confirming him because of the NRA the blame still goes to the republicans because even if every Dem voted yes they still wouldn’t have the votes to overcome the HOLD Rand Paul has in place

  14. So..hatemorons. I’m assuming that you also hate yourself if your screenname is to be believed. If not then I guess that makes you a hypocrite. Oh and please expound on just how you see that this administration is “killing this country” We await your ersatz wisdom on this point.

  15. So David…”Using Ebola to attack the NRA is about as low as one can go considering the seriousness of the Ebola situation” Well David the NRA has attacked everyone who KNOWS the FACTS about them and how much of a serious health and safety problem those GUN NUTS have caused. The NRA has attacked INNOCENT CHILDREN by blocking all attempts at ANY gun control legislation. AND then they attacked the parents for caring that their children were MURDERED by the NRA by proxy. AND the Surgeon General is way more than just a figure head, Of course if the SG is Reich Wing then he is powerful to you..if they are not then their just a “figurehead”.

  16. Ebola is not an epidemic in America and a trusted Surgeon General would ease the fear and anxiety
    ~~~~~~~~~

    Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH, was named acting Surgeon General following the resignation of Regina Benjamin. And he isn’t just a warm body filling the post either. He’s eminently qualified, being a medical doctor, holding a Master’s of Public Health, and having served as Deputy Surgeon General since 2010.

    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/about/biographies/biosg.html

    What is it that he can’t do, because I haven’t heard he sucks at fear and anxiety easing.

    Want an ebola czar too? You’re in luck because we’ve already got one.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/decision-makers/health/nicole-lurie-assistant-secretary-preparedness-and-response-20130716

    Where’s she hiding?

  17. So why isn’t one channel..MSNBC not CNN not anyone saying the reason we’re having this spread is because once again the GOP denied us the funds. Just like with the kids from Nicuaragua. Nothing can get done. With this AH’s in the house. How do people vote for these guys when they are CAUSING PEOPLE TO DIE JUST FOR A VOTE!!!!!!!!! WTH and not one stupid democrat has said that. Not one! Especially Allison LundgrenGrimes. Tell them YEAH I VOTED FOR OBAMA because I believe in a womens right to choose..jobs that the GOP said no to ..affordable healthcare. Instead she sits there and denies denies denies. Its as if she’s ashamed of our President. Well, I didn’t send her money. Over 400 JOBS BILLS on the table but they blame it on the dems not passing. WTH DO THEY NOT TELL THE FRICKEN PUBLIC ABOUT THE POISIN PILLS IN THOSE JOBS BILLS??For crying out loud democrats. Do you want the GOP to win??? They piss me off they never tell the truth about WHAT the GOP is doing has done and will do! wt…

  18. So why isn’t one channel..MSNBC not CNN not anyone saying the reason we’re having this spread is because once again the GOP denied us the funds. Just like with the kids from Nicuaragua. Nothing can get done. With this AH’s in the house. How do people vote for these guys when they are CAUSING PEOPLE TO DIE JUST FOR A VOTE!!!!!!!!! WTH and not one stupid democrat has said that. Not one! Especially Allison LundgrenGrimes. Tell them YEAH I VOTED FOR OBAMA because I believe in a womens right to choose..jobs that the GOP said no to ..affordable healthcare. Instead she sits there and denies denies denies. Its as if she’s ashamed of our President. Well, I didn’t send her money. Over 400 JOBS BILLS on the table but they blame it on the dems not passing. WTH DO THEY NOT TELL THE FRICKEN PUBLIC ABOUT THE POISIN PILLS IN THOSE JOBS BILLS??For crying out loud democrats. Do you want the GOP to win??? They piss me off they never tell the truth about WHAT the GOP is doing has done and will do!

  19. Do you not know that the Democrats control the senate? Do you not know that it is Harry Reid who is not allowing a vote on the AG? Mindless pablum from idiots. The fact is that the budget that passed back in January included an 8% increase in funding for the CDC , which is more than the Obama administration actually requested.

  20. Do you even know how the Senate works or did you fail civics in remedial summer school? It takes 60 votes to stop a hold which your buttboy Rand Paul has done to the nominee. Sheesh you teahadist are the stupidest people on the face of the Earth

  21. Under Senate rules, a unanimous voice vote can move the confirmation process to its last stage for most nominees. But with Paul’s objection, a cloture vote will have to take place before the full Senate can make a final decision about Murthy’s nomination.

    Previous Senate guidelines would have required Reid to round up 60 votes to overcome filibusters and advance to the final stage, but the Senate approved new rules in November that allow the process to move forward with a simple majority voting for cloture — the old rules still apply for Supreme Court nominees.

    Paul’s hold only makes the confirmation process more difficult rather than halting it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/rand-paul-adds-hurdle-for-surgeon-general-confirmation/2014/02/26/db9cb346-9f22-11e3-b8d8-94577ff66b28_story.htm

  22. Why your links don’t work for me I have no idea. The way I read it when Reid change the filibuster rules it only applied to federal judges and cabinet level positions and since the Surgeon General is not a cabinet level position it would still take 60 votes to move forward

  23. See the key word in that reporters statement is should. Now like I said the new rules don’t apply to federal judges and cabinet level position and since the surgeon general is not a cabinet level position would he qualify?

    And if he did you cant place the blame on 6 or so dummycrats whoa re scared of the NRA when you cant get 6 republicans to vote for him. But in the world of the stupid that’s bi-partisanship

  24. Political activity my ass. Obamacare and fighting the NRA. Meanwhile in the fox noise bubble we have to put up with this shit that you Reich wingers lap up like a 5 dollar crack whore
    Dr. Marc Siegel tells the CDC/HHS department that if they don’t “step up to the plate” and ramp up the Ebola screening process, they’re going to be slammed by even louder Fox News pundits.
    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/10/fox-news-medical-expert-blames-president

    A god damn internist not a epidemiologists. But like the sequester you people who revel in the austerity you push when the butchers bill come due you cry and say it wasn’t me. Like my 7 year old when she did something wrong and I am like I am looking right at you

  25. Fun read through the comments. Left wing is more righteous than thou and right wing is just laughing at the silliness of it all. Truth is we have no surgeon general because Reid didn’t want dem senators stuck voting in favor of the NRA. That is the ugly truth…votes not taken don’t need explainin’

  26. I’m sick to death of each party blaming the other for not doing their jobs. The SG has no business in politics. He is there to deal with Health. Having to venture into Memphis occasionally, I want to be able to defend myself and family. They recently used pumpkins to nearly kill a teen at work in a parking lot riot. Out of a mob of 100 teens, not one arrest. Too bad someone didn’t have a gun. The next time it was after a HS football game. I haven’t heard they are going to ban the football games or pumpkins.

  27. spoken like a true gun hater. When Obama gets through with us, you’ll wish you had a friend with a gun. criminals will use anything to hurt law abiding citizens. guns, knives, sticks, rocks, and even pumpkins (Memphis, TN)

  28. Unlike you Republicans, Harry Reid can actually do math. 100% of Republicans and about 5 “luvs-mah-guns” red state Dems have joined forces to block Dr. Vivek H. Murthy.

    Tally those opposing votes in the Senate and the Democrats come up 5 votes short of a simple majority.

  29. Rita, NOPE!! I just dislike the asswipes who think that their right to own a device for taking life trumps other INNOCENT peoples lives.

  30. “Using Ebola to attack the NRA” is as low as you can go in twisting the truth to make it say the exact opposite of the truth.
    Any objective study of what happened in the Senate makes clear that it’s the NRA that has attacked Ebola, by threatening and coercing its (bought and paid for) pro-gun Senators to stop the process of confirming the Surgeon General.
    News flash, David: Day is night and right is wrong.

  31. If this guy was Surgeon General nothing would be any different, He stated that when he got to be Surgeon General he would make gun control priority one because it’s a health issue. Not controlling disease or the spread thereof but gun control. Gun control should not be a concern of the United States Surgeon General it’s not his job and he has plenty of responsibilities to keep him busy he dosen’t need to control things that aren’t any of his business, that is why the NRA would not endorse him just another Obama fail.

  32. So over 2 billion in healthcost due to guns are not a health issue? And you ammosexuals wonder why your premiums keeps rising. SMDH at the idiocy of the American people

  33. Is Murthy the only doctor who can hold the office of Surgeon General? Surely there are other candidates who could perform the job. A political fight by both parties for election purposes seems to be more important to the two parties..both parties.

  34. The right wing boo birds have arrived with their lies, their stupidities, and their absolving the GOP of any responsibility for essentially blocking the operation of government, except for bare necessities (which they threatened also with their default on the national debt atrocity).

    The NIH has been denied funds by the GOP for over 10 years, and researchers have said that if funding had not been cut by the GOP, we probably would have a cure for Ebola today!!!

    How about giving Obama credit for once? The economy is rolling. Health care is cheaper (still nothing compared to my $25/month car insurance from Insurance Panda or my $15/month renters insurance from Gotham.. but progress is being made!!). Bin Laden is caught. Useless wars have ended.

    But since the GOP are penny pinchers on spending for things that might be needed in the future (like our infrastructure), we wind up in a potential worldwide Ebola pandemic.

    And who will the evil and incompetent GOP and their ignorant f…

  35. Surplus M1 and M1 carbines from Korea and Europe. Over 3 million total… none with magazines, non-“assualt “rifles widely used by sports shooters and hunters. You see 8 shots in a rifle are deemed dangerous there. The CPM (Civiian Marksmanship Program) is about 100 years old and dying from his ban. And the price of this rifle has skyrocketed due to the President, who by the way enjoys shooting at Camp David on a regular basis. Though I doubt he actually owns a gun.

  36. The reason we have no surgeon-general is mission creep. The CDC has one job, and they haven’t been doing it because they have been focused on other things like guns.

  37. Really? You may have not noticed they are not allowed to collect gun statistics by law.

    Move along, we dont feel sorry for you

  38. This article is very 1 sided not a good argument. I agree that the lack of a surgeon general is a problem, but why cant both sides work together to come up with a candidate. I love people who argue gun control will work. All it will do is disarm citizens and empower criminals. Do you think criminals are going to give up there guns? NO! They are just going to be able to harm people easier without fear of retaliation. The real culprit behind gun violence is our media today. Back in the 40-60’s the crime was lower but look at what America was watching. Today all it is is violent tv shows and video games putting these ideas in Americans heads. I feel if you want to control anything it should be the video game and tv industry and hold them accountable for the copy cats they create.

  39. This article is a lie. Here are the facts:

    Harry Reid nuked the filibuster.
    The filibuster is what protected Red State Democrats from having to take a stand on controversial nominees. Prior to Harry’s “reforms” they could just blame the Republicans for torching a troublesome nomination. Thanks to Harry going nuclear on the filibuster Red State Democrats are exposed. They would have to show courage in voting rather than hiding behind a filibuster.

    Harry Reid reduced the number of votes required to confirm any presidential nominee (except to the Supreme Court) from 60 to 51.

    The Democrats hold a majority in the Senate. There are more than 51 Democrats in the Senate.

    Harry Reid has refused to call for a vote on Murthy’s nomination even though there are more than sufficient Democrats in the Senate to confirm Murthy.

    What we have here is Democrat COWARDICE — not the NRA, not FOX News.

    Democrats are too cowardly to take a vote on Murthy. And they are too irresponsible to own …

  40. The lack of a Surgeon General is a completely invalid argument. WE DO have an acting Surgeon General who is a career medical professional and entirely competent and has full authority of that position. We just don’t have Obama’s POLITICAL appointee yet.

  41. Perhaps its that he admittedly agrees with an agenda that would infringe on the 2nd amendment right to bear arms and after all, members of congress took an oath to prevent that from happening. So really they are looking out to protect our constitutional rights and for that we should be grateful as its easier to keep them than try to get them back. Besides…I would expect the nation’s top doc should have more medical experience.

  42. You mean like this: Charles Everett Koop (October 14, 1916 – February 25, 2013) was an American pediatric surgeon

    Murthy is a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School
    Boy if I didn’t know any better I can say you are a racist piece of SHIT

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