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Surgeon General Nominee Murthy Loses Support Of Key Backers03:51
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Dr. Vivek Murthy is an internist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His nomination for U.S. surgeon general has stalled, largely due to his advocacy of gun control. (Charles Dharapak/AP/File)
Dr. Vivek Murthy is an internist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His nomination for U.S. surgeon general has stalled, largely due to his advocacy of gun control. (Charles Dharapak/AP/File)
This article is more than 4 years old.

One of the country's leading medical journals is withdrawing support for a Brigham and Women's Hospital physician nominated by President Obama to become the next surgeon general.

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) endorsed Vivek Murthy in May, but an editorial published Wednesday withdraws that support.

Although we believe that Vivek Murthy would bring much to the job, the harsh political environment in Washington is unlikely to allow his confirmation. Given this impasse, and in these critical times, the Obama Administration should select another candidate to be the nation's public health leader.

Murthy's nomination has languished for months, a target of the National Rifle Association which objects to Murthy's view that gun violence is a public health issue.

The NEJM editorial says the country needs a surgeon general now who can speak to the public with authority about Ebola, the coming flu season and various viral outbreaks such as Enterovirus D68.

There is no response yet from Murthy or the White House.

Dr. Greg Curfman, NEJM's executive editor, joined WBUR's All Things Considered to explain the abrupt change. Listen to his full conversation with WBUR's Deborah Becker above. 

Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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Martha Bebinger Twitter Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.

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