Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed to the position of Surgeon General on December 15, 2014 under the Obama administration. On Friday, he was asked to resign by the Trump administration due to his “political activism,” particularly his positions on gun control.
Murthy’s confirmation didn’t come easy, as resistance from the NRA and other gun rights groups and Republican opposition made it difficult. Murthy has now been replaced by Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, the former Deputy Surgeon General.
Murthy’s pro-gun control stance was so robust that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), a red state Democratic proponent of gun control, denied his vote for him. However, former Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted yes in Manchin’s place. The result was a Surgeon General who believed gun policies were to be seen as a health care concern.
Murthy, who recanted his original statements.
“I got into some trouble for saying gun violence is a public health issue,” Murthy said to STAT. “A little bit of trouble. But you know, I was stating what I think is the obvious, and I think most people in the country understand, which is that far too many people die from gun violence. And in my book, every single death from gun violence is a tragedy because it was preventable. It’s unacceptable.”