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Joe Manchin Breaks with Democrats, Opposes Surgeon General’s Confirmation

December 16, 2014

12/15/2014

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Before the Senate confirmed Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he will not support Murthy because of his “political activism.”

According to Roll Call, Manchin said the Surgeon General’s role is to lead “on public health services and [choose] what health policies we should prioritize.” He does not think Murthy can separate himself from his political activism in a way that will allow him to fulfill this role.

Manchin side-stepped NRA warnings that Murthy wants to treat guns as “a health care issue,” and instead said Murthy has simply been too politically active to win the trust of the American people in a role like Surgeon General.

Manchin said:

After meeting with Dr. Murthy, I don’t question his medical qualifications: I just question whether the public will believe that he can separate his political beliefs from his public health views. I am wary that his past comments will have an impact on his leadership capabilities and effectiveness. For these reasons, I am unable to vote for his confirmation.

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