10.28.14

More Than 90 Members of Congress Call for Surgeon General Confirmation

As the American people continue to express concern about Ebola, a highly qualified Surgeon General nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy, languishes.

A new letter, signed by ninety-one Members of Congress, is calling for his confirmation.

“Given the public's increasing fears regarding the spread of the disease, it is imperative that we confirm a Surgeon General who will play a significant role in educating the American public about the disease and how to best protect their health,” write the Members.

The letter was co-led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Judy Chu, PhD and Congressman Ami Bera, M.D.

“As our nation faces public health concerns, the Senate needs to stop playing politics with Presidential nominees and confirm a Surgeon General to assist in disseminating information and to amplify the work being done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “Dr. Murthy is an eminently qualified physician and has the support of our nation’s preeminent health and physicians groups. It’s time to confirm him.”

“In addition to the everyday health risks Americans face, the spread of Ebola has become a global concern, necessitating a centralized response and the spread of information here at home. All of these needs could be met by a Surgeon General able to work with federal agencies, communicate with the American people, and serve as the face of public health. Yet this position has remained vacant for over a year,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu, PhD. “The Senate have before them a nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy, who has extensive experience and the backing of more than 50 major health groups. Delaying his confirmation further at a time of such need is irresponsible. I join my colleagues in urging his quick confirmation.”

“As a doctor, I know the leadership that a trusted and qualified physician could provide in helping Americans better understand the complex medical questions we face today is greatly needed,” said Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. “This position has been vacant for more than a year and leaving it that way misses an opportunity to stop misinformation and calm fears about Ebola.”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity.