Indian-American Vivek Murthy to be in President-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus task force

2 weeks ago 10

Indian-American physician Dr Vivek Murthy is likely to be included in the coronavirus task force that President-elect Joe Biden, who clinched the presidency after defeating President Donald Trump, is going to announce on Monday. Vivek Murthy, 43, who originally hails from Karnataka, was appointed America's 19th Surgeon General by then President Barack Obama in 2014.

In his first victory speech, President-elect Joe Biden pledged he will spare no effort to turn around the coronavirus pandemic to revive the battered US economy. Joe Biden said he would announce a task force on coronavirus on Monday.

"On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as Transition Advisors to help take the Biden-Harris coronavirus plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021," Joe Biden said.

The President-elect, however, did not announce who would lead the coronavirus task force.

According to news agency PTI and several other foreign media houses said the coronavirus task force would be co-chaired by Dr Vivek Murthy and David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner. "The task force could begin meeting within days," The Washington Post said.

WHO IS VIVEK MURTHY?

Vivek Murthy was born in the United Kingdom. Vivek Murthy was the youngest ever to hold the office at the age of 37. Vivek Murthy was nominated as the Surgeon General, the youngest in the history of America, in the regime of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. He was the first-ever Indian-American to occupy the post. He was later asked to step down by the Trump administration.

During the campaign period, Vivek Murthy emerged as one of the top advisors of Joe Biden on public health and coronavirus issues. Many have speculated that Vivek Murthy might end up being the Health Secretary in the Biden administration.

In May, the Joe Biden Campaign had appointed Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Vivek Murthy as co-chairs to the Healthcare Task Force.

At a fundraiser organised by Indian-Americans in September which was addressed by Joe Biden, Vivek Murthy had said that Biden is the kind of guy he would like to invite home for dinner.

"Joe Biden is the kind of guy I would love to bring home to have dinner with my mom and dad," Vivek Murthy had said in his opening remarks, while adding that some 'Masala Dasa' would be served. "He's authentic. He's real. And he says what he thinks and that's something I really love about him. He says what's on his mind. He's honest and true," Vivek Murthy said.

COVID TASK FORCE TO BE CONSTRUCTED OUT OF CONCERN, EMPATHY: JOE BIDEN

In his victory speech, Joe Biden said that the plan will be built on a bedrock of science to "turn around" the coronavirus pandemic. He said the coronavirus task force, which he will announce on Monday, will be constructed out of "compassion, empathy and concern".

"It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy and concern. I will spare no effort - or commitment - to turn this pandemic around," Joe Biden said.

(With PTI inputs)

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