There’s an old story that just before John F. Kennedy announced he would be making his 35-year old brother Robert attorney general – because his dad made him – he quipped something to the effect of, “I don’t see what’s wrong with giving Bobby a little experience before he begins practicing law.”
President Obama’s new Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, is in fact a political animal with relatively little experience working as an actual doctor. That should be no problem for Obama, who when he became president in 2008 was a political animal with little experience working at anything.
Murthy, who is 37, only graduated from medical school – Yale, from which he also received an MBA – in 2003. He completed his residency just eight years ago. I’m not sure I’d trust him with my gall bladder yet, let alone make him surgeon general.
And then, according to a profile in the Boston Globe, he got busy practicing . . . politics. And business.
His job at the Brigham is part-time, largely so he can devote energies to his other professional interests. Those include TrialNetworks, a software start-up company in Needham that he founded in 2007, to help drug developers efficiently collect information from clinical trials. In 1995, he founded VISIONS Worldwide, a nonprofit dedicated to AIDS and HIV education in India.
In the past five years, his work mobilizing the medical profession around Obama’s universal health care law has been a prime focus. In an article in Hospitalist News in January 2012, he gave his thoughts about why he helped start Doctors for Obama in 2008, which worked to get Obama elected and was later reborn as Doctors for America. He said he was “struck by how few physicians were organizing and gathering their ideas to actually make an impact on the candidates’ platforms and, ultimately, on a health reform bill.”
The reason his nomination had been held up for more than a year before he was confirmed by the Senate Monday is that Republicans understand he plans to use the position of surgeon general to advocate a broad political agenda, not look out for Americans’ health.
As noted in the Globe profile, he has led the charge among physicians for Obamacare. But even more disturbing, perhaps, is that he thinks gun control comes under the purview of surgeon general. This tweet has caused a lot of concern.
Actually, guns only become a health care issue after they go off and the guy on the wrong end of the barrel enters the emergency room. Not that Murthy, given his lack of experience, would necessarily know what to do at that point either.
Doctors are no more qualified to influence gun policy – which is related to the Second Amendment, crime, and other issues – than are beauticians.
Note the presumptuousness, so typical of liberals, within the Tweet, dismissing the notion that “politicians” – not to mention those who elect them – might have legitimate opinions about the Second Amendment, the value of an armed citizenry, and the right to self-defense. It’s all just NRA money corrupting us dolts, according to the new surgeon general.
Here he is, making a rare appearance in his doctor outfit.
Smug-looking fellow. Prepare to suffer Murthy using the surgeon general’s bully pulpit for the next two years to lecture you about your politics.