Republican Congressman Is Unaware There Is No Surgeon General To Address Ebola
One would think Republicans are aware that they blocked President Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, due to a backlash from the National Rifle Association. But, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) says Ron Klain is “off to a bad start” in his new role as the president’s Ebola response coordinator, and that the U.S. Surgeon General should be the one leading the effort, the Huffington Post reports.
[su_center_ad]Except America has not had a surgeon general for more than a year.
“Why not have the surgeon general head this up?” Chaffetz asked.”I think that’s a very legitimate question. At least you have somebody who has a medical background whose been confirmed by the United States Senate.”
“It begs the question, what does the surgeon general do?” he added. “Why aren’t we empowering that person?”
Actually, blocking Murthy’s nomination all came down to this tweet:
Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue. #debatehealth
— Vivek Murthy (@vivek_murthy) October 17, 2012
Which resulted in this:
“Simply put, confirmation of Dr. Murthy is a prescription for disaster for America’s gun owners,” Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s legislative arm, wrote to Senate leaders in February.
And that’s why we don’t have a surgeon general. America’s biggest gun rights lobbyist decided against him. It “begs the question” as to why Chaffetz doesn’t direct his anger toward the NRA. I think that’s a “very legitimate question” and one we already know the answer to.
Chaffetz later explained to The Huffington Post that he was not saying that the surgeon general, which doesn’t exist, should be in charge of the Ebola response, but rather that the Office of the Surgeon General should be.
“Well I do know there’s an acting surgeon general, I understand that. The surgeon general is also an office. It’s the Office of the Surgeon General. I know there’s some confusion there, but I don’t think I was confused,” Chaffetz said.
“I question why we would have a person that was put forward as a czar, when you do have an acting surgeon general,” he continued. “The point is the person the president has appointed doesn’t feel prepared to come before Congress.”
Well, perhaps Dr. Murthy would have, but he’s not the Surgeon General because our elected officials are licking the NRA’s boots. And that makes, “Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue” true.
Chaffetz, in lockstep with his Republican colleagues, has blasted the President for not doing enough to secure the embassy in Benghazi, Libya, but he previously voted to cut funding for U.S. embassy security. He was probably unaware of that, too.
H/T: @ComgenKDT with thanks. [su_csky_ad]