Surgeon general has no regrets about gun-violence statement

FILE- In this Aug. 3, 2015, file photo, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy speaks in the East Room at the White House in Washington. Murthy said Saturday, Aug. 15, that the backlash from his gun-control statement was disappointing but not a surprise. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The nation’s chief doctor said he doesn’t regret saying gun violence is a public health issue, calling his difficult confirmation process a consequence of speaking out.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Saturday that the backlash from his gun-control statement was disappointing but not a surprise.

He was confirmed in December in the face of opposition from the National Rifle Association, which was a rare defeat for the powerful gun lobby.

Murthy said the challenging process showed him the importance of community, including those from the medical, public health, tech and Asian-American communities who rallied in support of him. He also credited his fiancee Alice Chen for helping him cope.

The doctor said he still believes gun violence is a preventable health problem, comparing it to seatbelts and swimming pool safety.

He was speaking at the Asian American Journalists Association convention gala in San Francisco.

 

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