Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama’s pick for surgeon general, was confirmed this week and sworn in on Thursday. His nomination survived opposition from the National Rifle Association thanks to a groundswell of grassroots support from fellow senators, health care and gun violence prevention groups, and the Indian-American community.

The panic caused by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the few cases which had shown up in the United States, helped build the necessary momentum for Murthy’s success, said a Senate Democratic leadership aide.

“When that occurred, there was a public awakening about the need to have somebody with deep public health and medical knowledge inside the administration who would be able to guide the right approaches. A lot of our outside allies used that moment to help drive that message, and ever since that point in time, maintain the pressure on the Senate to confirm Vivek.”

Read more at The Huffington Post.