Former US surgeon general Vivek Murthy may get key role in Biden administration
Indian-American Dr Vivek Murthy, who was appointed the surgeon general by US President Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, has been tipped to get a key healthcare role in a potential Joe Biden administration as the Democratic nominee inches closer to victory in the presidential elections.
Murthy is expected to play a key role as a “face” of the Biden administration’s response to the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. One of the two core Indian-American advisers to Biden, Murthy has been privately advising Biden on the pandemic for months.
“Biden has spoken often of his briefings with experts, and Dr Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration head Dr David Kessler have been two of the most prominent medical figures whose counsel Biden has sought during the public health crisis,” the New York Times had reported. “Murthy and I would brief Biden every day or four times a week,” Kessler was as saying by the newspaper.
The 43-year-old Murthy originally hails from a village in Karnataka’s Mandya district. He was the US surgeon general from December 2014 to April 2017 and at 37 was the youngest to hold the office. He was asked to step down by the Trump administration later.
Biden, who served as the vice president under Obama for two consecutive terms from 2009 to 2017, has repeatedly spoken about action against Covid-19 on his very first day in the White House. “We’re not waiting to get the work done,” he said in a speech on Friday night.
The US has the highest number of Covid-19 cases globally, as well as the highest number of fatalities due to the disease. The country has been logging more than 100,000 new daily cases and more than 1,000 deaths due to the virus, over the last few days. Its tally of Covid-19 cases stands at 9,744,491 and fatalities at 236,155, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker.
(With agency inputs)