Mar 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate Confirms Vivek Murthy as surgeon general

Vivek Murthy.
Vivek Murthy. Photo: Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 57-43 on Tuesday to confirm Vivek Murthy as surgeon general.

Why it matters: His appointment will allow him to reprise a role he previously held. Murthy served as surgeon general under the Obama administration but was dismissed in 2017, a year before the end of his term, by the Trump administration.

The big picture: Murthy is a member of the Biden administration's COVID-19 task force, which is working to combat the spread of the pandemic.

  • As surgeon general he has vowed to bring attention to public health issues that have worsened during the pandemic, namely "the opioid epidemic, mental illness and racial and geographic health inequities," according to AP.
  • During the Obama administration, Murthy helped lead the U.S. response to the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks as well as the opioid crisis, CNN reports.
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