Q&A on the News

Q: Why don’t we have a surgeon general in lieu of the Ebola scare?

—Allen Langley, Jonesboro

A: The Senate hasn’t confirmed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Vivek Murthy as the next surgeon general. Murthy was nominated in October 2013, but “Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation the following spring because of alleged anti-gun leanings,” PolitiFact.com reported.

The dispute stems from a tweet from Murthy in October 2012, in which he wrote: “Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue.” Two weeks ago, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on CNN: “Look, of course we should have a surgeon general in place. And we don’t have one because President Obama, instead of nominating a health professional, he nominated someone who is an anti-gun activist.”

Dr. Richard Carmona, a former surgeon general, told the Boston Globe that the “right” person in the position “could be a unifying force” during the Ebola situation. Murthy earned a bachelor’s in biomechanical sciences from Harvard, and an MBA and his medical degree from Yale. He teaches at Harvard Medical School and is a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Q: What happened to Jennifer Mayerle, who was a reporter on CBS Atlanta?

—Jerome Bernhardt, Marietta

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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