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Vivek Murthy confirmed as surgeon general

Vivek Murthy confirmed as surgeon general
© Reuters/Pool

The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyA full pandemic recovery demands mental health support Biden to appear on MSNBC before town hall on vaccines Surgeon general: US 'still not doing enough' to address growing mental health crisis MORE to be President BidenJoe BidenBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Overnight Defense: Administration approves 5M arms sale to Israel | Biden backs ceasefire in call with Netanyahu | Military sexual assault reform push reaches turning point CDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition MORE's surgeon general, handing the administration one of its top public health officials amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Senators voted 57-43 to confirm Murthy, a bump from the 51 votes he got for the same position in 2014. Murthy served as surgeon general under the Obama administration but was fired by former President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE in 2017.

GOP Sens. Bill CassidyBill CassidyHelping students make informed decisions on college CDC director denies political pressure affected new mask guidelines Romney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' MORE (La.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court takes case that could diminish Roe v. Wade | White House to send US-authorized vaccines overseas for first time White House: Biden committed to codifying Roe v. Wade regardless of Miss. case CDC's about-face on masks appears politically motivated to help a struggling Biden MORE (Maine), Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallStudy: Early unemployment cutoff would cost 16M people 0B Republicans introduce bill to counter PRO Act on joint employer standard Tennessee cuts off 0 federal unemployment supplement MORE (Kan.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court takes case that could diminish Roe v. Wade | White House to send US-authorized vaccines overseas for first time Manchin, Murkowski call for bipartisan Voting Rights Act reauthorization White House: Biden committed to codifying Roe v. Wade regardless of Miss. case MORE (Alaska), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Bipartisanship has become a partisan weapon Carper urges Biden to nominate ambassadors amid influx at border MORE (Ohio), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRomney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart Top border officials defend Biden policies MORE (Utah) and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Hillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech Kerry denies allegations from leaked Iran tapes MORE (Alaska) joined Democrats in supporting his nomination on Tuesday.

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".@vivek_murthy is a highly experienced, crisis-tested leader and an excellent choice to return as Surgeon General. Glad he was confirmed today—and I’m looking forward to working with him to address this pandemic and the underlying health inequities it has made way worse," Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Biden's pre-K plan is a bipartisan opportunity to serve the nation's children Schumer 'exploring' passing immigration unilaterally if talks unravel MORE (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate's Health Committee, tweeted Tuesday night.

But getting the support of every Democratic senator wasn't always guaranteed. Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Manchin, Murkowski call for bipartisan Voting Rights Act reauthorization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Israel-Hamas carnage worsens; Dems face SALT dilemma MORE (D-W.Va.) told reporters last month that he hadn't made a decision, but ultimately ending up voting for him Tuesday.

"Murthy has confirmed his commitment to remaining non-partisan as Surgeon General and reaffirmed his belief that the vast majority of gun-owning Americans are responsible and follow the law. For these reasons, I believe Dr. Murthy is qualified to be Surgeon General and I look forward to working with him to address the numerous issues facing our nation," Manchin said in a statement. 

Murthy previously called gun violence a health threat to the United States, which had won him opposition from the NRA. Manchin voted against Murthy's nomination in 2014, saying that questioned if Murthy could "separate his political beliefs from his public health views." 

Trump's firing of Murthy in 2017 surprised employees at the Department of Health and Human Services and sparked accusations from Democrats that Trump was trying to politicize the role. 

Murthy advised Biden for several months during the campaign on the coronavirus pandemic and vowed to focus on the mental health impact if he was confirmed. 

“We know a lot of what we need to do, we just aren’t doing it. We have for example, programs that we could be investing in schools to help provide mental health counseling to kids to detect symptoms of mental illness early. We can train more mental health providers,” Murthy said.