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.
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.