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Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Doesn’t Back Down on Gun Control

Vivek Murthy

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, speaking before a banquet room full of journalists, says he still stands by his tweets on gun control, the same tweets that delayed his confirmation to his cabinet post for more than year.

Heavy lobbying by the National Rifle Association prolonged the confirmation into an old west-style shootout in the political arena.

Murthy made his comments on Twitter in his role as founder and president of Doctors for America.

Murthy said he wasn’t totally surprised by the backlash given the political realities in Washington.

“For anybody who has worked in a hospital, people understand that gun violence is a public health issue,” he told some 900 attendees at the closing gala at the Asian American Journalists Association’s annual convention in San Francisco.

“The reason it is is whenever you have large numbers of people who are getting injured or dying, that’s a public health issue. It’s why doctors spoke up about seat belts, especially in the 80s or 90s when we saw a large number of people dying in motor vehicle accidents.”

He expressed his gratitude to members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities who stood by him and helped him to get through his long confirmation process.

Murthy also urged the journalists in attendance to write stories to help break down the stigmas associated with seeking help for mental health issues, especially in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

He told the story of his uncle who locked himself in his room, refused to come out and eventually was found dead of self-inflicted wounds.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy shares personal story about mental health and suicide from Randall Yip on Vimeo.

On a brighter note, Murthy will be married to his fiancee Alice Chen next week.


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