As the Ebola virus continues to take hold in the United States, some liberal media outlets have taken to blaming the National Rifle Association for its spread. Citing the NRA’s adamant opposition to the confirmation of Surgeon General Nominee, Vivek Murthy, these sources have concluded that the absence of a Surgeon General is the primary reason for the disorganized response from the Center for Disease Control and Department of Health and Human Services. Seemingly ignored in this criticism has been the fact that President Obama has refused to offer an alternative, more objective nominee. Furthermore, such accusations absolve CDC Director Tom Friedan and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell from any responsibility for their respective organizations’ disorganized and confusing response to the outbreak.
The fact of the matter is that the CDC and HHS should be able to function properly without a Surgeon General. If it is indeed so important that the US confirm a new Surgeon General, it is the responsibility of the President to nominate someone who stands a reasonable chance of being confirmed by the Senate. President Obama has failed in this respect and the lack of cooperation on the part of the Democratic Senate majority is a remarkably damning testament to the President’s political impotency.
Like it or not, the NRA was well within its rights to oppose Dr. Murthy’s confirmation. As co-founder of Doctors for America, Murthy endorsed Barack Obama and has recently been an outspoken advocate of unreasonable gun control laws. These views have been manifest both in the official platform of Doctors for America and in Murthy’s own social media postings. Furthermore, Murthy is outspoken in his belief that “gun violence” is a “public health crisis” and he has called for taxpayer funded gun-control research. Additionally, Murthy has supported adding gun ownership to patient health records.
What critics of the NRA fail to realize is that they are in a very small minority when it comes to guns and public health. Last week, the National Shooting Sports Federation issued a press release detailing Americans’ distaste for spending public health dollars on gun control research. The cited study, performed by Harper Polling, revealed that 88% of likely voters disagree with CDC research into gun-related violence. When asked if gun-related violence should be classified as a public health issue, 71% disagreed.
It is dishonest and downright lazy to say that the NRA is at fault for the mishandling of Ebola in America. A vast majority of Americans strongly disagree with Dr. Murthy’s stance toward firearms and his past lends credence to the belief that he will have the public’s interests at heart when it comes to Second Amendment issues. All the while, President Obama has had plenty of time to nominate a more qualified candidate, but has chosen to play a game of political chicken, waiting to see if his party-mates in the Senate will support his controversial nomination.
Emily Miller on Vivek Murthy: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/10/obamas-surgeon-general-nominee-dr-vivek-murthy-rad/?page=all