“Every day brings more details about the first case of the Ebola virus to be diagnosed in the U.S.,” msnbc.com’s Krystal Ball and Anne Thompson report. “And while experts say there is essentially no risk of a significant outbreak here in the states, much of the public remains worried. . . . If only there was someone around who could educate the American public about the actual level of risk. Someone who was trusted as a public health expert and whose job it was to help us understand what we really need to worry about and what precautions we should take.” But no! There isn’t! Not one of Uncle Sam’s 2,723,000 employees is up to the job, apparently. And who’s fault is that? Dysfunctional government. And the NRA, of course . . .
Actually, that is one of the primary responsibilities of the United States surgeon general. There’s just one problem: Thanks to Senate dysfunction and NRA opposition, we don’t have a surgeon general right now. In fact, we haven’t had a surgeon general for more than a year now — even though the president nominated the eminently qualified Dr. Vivek Murthy back in November 2013 . . .
As I reported previously, Murthy’s nomination has been held up by Republicans and a few red state Democrats due to this surprisingly controversial stance: He believes that guns can impact your health. Well, to be fair, this conservative coalition is not troubled by his stance, so much as they are fearful of the NRA, which decided to try to scuttle Murthy’s confirmation. The NRA wrote a strongly worded letter, Rand Paul put a hold on the nomination, and Red State Democrats begged Harry Reid to not force them to vote. It’s funny that the strongly worded letters of ordinary citizens don’t seem to have quite the same effect.
As TTAG reported previously, Dr. Murthy is an ardent anti-gunner who believes that “gun violence” is a public health issue, and who supported the President’s post-Newtown call for a renewed “assault weapons” ban and “universal background checks.” Just the sort of man Americans who value their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms would prefer not to be the next Surgeon General (or hold any public office, really). Hence the NRA’s opposition.
Anyway, hello? While we wait (and wait and wait) for the Obama administration to nominate a non-partisan Surgeon General, there is an acting Surgeon General: Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D. [above]. And speaking of people qualified to inform the American public about the dangers of Ebola (or lack thereof) please note that Dr. Lushniak worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for sixteen years.
Instead of bitching about an anti-gunner’s failure to become America’s top doc, Ball and Thompson could have reached out to Dr. Lushniak and reported on some of that advice they claim the feds can’t give because the NRA is protecting firearms freedom (which could come in mighty handy should Ebola become an epidemic). And the progs claim the NRA is playing politics with Americans’ health. Jeez. [h/t BC]