Overruling the objections of gun-rights advocates, the
The 51-43 vote makes Murthy, a 37-year-old graduate of
Murthy founded Doctors for America, a national physicians group that worked to pass the Affordable Healthcare Act, and has worked to promote HIV/AIDS education both in the United States and India. At Brigham & Womens Hospital in Boston, his research has focused on improving the quality of clinical trials, and expanding the participation of women and minorities in biomedical research.
He has declared obesity "the defining public health challenge of our time," and, more controversially, supported an assault weapons ban and asserted that "guns are a healthcare issue."
The latter position, tweeted by Murthy in October 2012, drew condemnation from conservatives in
"Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they're scared of
Murthy also drew ire from conservatives for a tweet in which he lauded the Affordable Care Act for giving women "choice and access to contraception," adding, "what's wrong with choice?"
When queried about his position on contraception by Wyoming Republican Sen.
In Senate confirmation hearings last February, Murthy said that, if confirmed, he would focus on childhood obesity, vaccinating children and driving down tobacco use in the United States. He called disease prevention "an issue I'm deeply passionate about."
In the end, the Senate vote on Murthy proceeded because new Senate rules require only a simple majority of lawmakers to shut down a filibuster over presidential nominations, with the exception of Supreme Court picks.
The American Public Health Assn. on Monday hailed Murthy's confirmation, calling it "a critical step in the right direction that will lead to more positive health outcomes."
"Today’s vote was a proud stand against the fear and confusion propagated by these extreme groups and their allies in Congress," said