Sep 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Surgeon general: new vaccine policies "part of a long tradition"


U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Photo: Samuel Corum/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy defended the Biden administration's latest coronavirus-related measures Sunday, saying they are "part of a long tradition that we have in this country" of taking action to keep people safe.

Why it matters: Murthy's comments on NBC's "Meet the Press," follow President Biden's announcement of a six-pronged plan to combat the virus, which includes aggressive vaccination and testing measures.

  • The measures are likely to face legal challenges from Republican governors, who were quick to express their disdain with the administration's plan.
  • Murthy also appeared on ABC's "This Week," where he called Biden's new policies "an appropriate legal measure."

What they're saying: "One of the things that we cannot afford to do during this pandemic is allow the COVID-19 experience to turn us against each other. Our enemy is the virus; it is not each other," Murthy told "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd.

  • "We've got to use every lever we have in order to fight this pandemic," he added.
  • "In the face of Delta, we've got to move to the next phase of that response, and that involves focusing not just on expanding the vaccination efforts through a combination of mandates and access, but it also involves focusing on increasing our testing capacity."
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