Washington: A top Democratic lawmaker has urged the US Senate to quickly confirm the nomination of Dr Vivek Murthy as the country's Surgeon General, who is the leading official and spokesperson on matters of public health.
"For over 200 years, the position of the Surgeon General has been the nation's top doctor ? a qualified, medical professional who puts the health of the American people first, who can explain complex issues, and who can represent the government response in the midst of a scare or crisis," Congressman Joe Crowley, Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Indian and Indian-Americans, said yesterday.
President Barack Obama nominated Murthy for the position in November 2013.
The Senate is yet to confirm him nomination.
Born in the UK, 37-year-old Murthy had his education at Harvard and Yale.
"It's absurd that the office of the US Surgeon General has remained vacant for this long ? especially now, as our country is addressing very serious public health issues, including combatting the Ebola virus," Crowley said, adding that there is no excuse for any delay.
Attacking the Republicans for "exploiting a real emergency as an opportunity to attack anyone and anything supported by this President," he said, "the health of Americans rises above politics, above partisanship."
Crowley added that a public health crisis requires a public health leader, and urged the Senate to confirm Murthy.
He supported Obama's nomination of Murthy for Surgeon General in November 2013, citing his commitment to improving the health of the American people.
If confirmed, Murthy would be the first Indian-American to serve in the position.