Has NRA, Senate Made Ebola And Enterovirus D68 Crisis Worse?

20141003-P30001003-00-HWhether its Ebloa or Enterovirus D68, where’s the trusted public health expert whose job it is to help us understand Ebola and Enterovirus D68?

Where is our surgeon general? The operational head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the federal government of the United States?

The National Rifle Association and allied gun-rights groups along with Democrats facing threats of losing Senate seats in pro-gun states have killed the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy to be the next surgeon general.

The NRA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox’s letter to senators, called Murthy’s positions on guns “radical” and accused him of backing a “campaign against gun ownership.”

According to the New York TimesSenate aides were whispering that as many as 10 Democrats would likely vote against Murthy because he supports stricter gun control.

So, thanks to our dysfunctional Senate and NRA opposition, America doesn’t have a surgeon general right now. And, 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.

The lack of a surgeon general and the outbreak of infectious diseases like Ebloa and Enterovirus D68 is just another example of government gridlock.