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Surgeon general has no regrets about gun-violence statement

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    In this Aug. 3 file photo, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy speaks in the East Room at the White House in Washington.

SAN FRANCISCO » 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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