WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, today met virtually with President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy.
“Our country is facing the largest public health crisis in our lifetimes, and the Surgeon General will help steer our nation’s efforts to get this deadly virus under control and save lives,” Senator Hassan said. “I appreciated meeting with Dr. Murthy, who in addition to his duties as Surgeon General, will also serve as a top medical expert for the Biden administration on the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, I was glad to speak with him about his plans to shore up confidence in the vaccine and address new COVID-19 variants. I also spoke with Dr. Murthy about how we can work together to increase access to medication-assisted treatment, which has helped countless Granite Staters and Americans struggling with substance use disorder, and how to address health disparities for communities of color. I am eager to partner with the Surgeon General and continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address this pandemic and other public health challenges that are endangering the health and safety of Americans.”
As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Hassan is focused on protecting the health and safety of all Americans and Granite Staters. The COVID-19 relief and government funding package that was recently signed into law includes $69 billion for vaccines, testing and tracing, community health and health care provider support, which is funding that Senator Hassan fought to include. Additionally, last July, Senator Hassan joined a group of her Senate colleagues in introducing the COVID-19 Health Disparities Action Act to help address the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color. Furthermore, in 2019, the Senator introduced bipartisan legislation that would help health care providers more effectively treat patients suffering from substance use disorder by eliminating an outdated requirement that needlessly restricts health care providers from prescribing buprenorphine, a proven medication-assisted treatment that has helped Americans struggling with substance use disorder.