Indian-American Dr Vivek Murthy, a distinguished physician, and former Vice Admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, has been nominated to serve as the Surgeon General in US President-elect Joe Biden’s health team leading the COVID-19 response team.
According to an official statement, “Dr Murthy was previously confirmed by the Senate to serve in the same capacity, holding the post as ‘America’s Doctor’ between 2014 and 2017. A trusted national voice on health issues and a long-time advisor to President-elect Biden, he currently serves as co-chair of the President-elect’s COVID-19 transition Advisory Board.”
“As “America’s Doctor,” Dr Murthy helped lead the national response to a range of health challenges, including the Ebola and Zika viruses, the opioid crisis, and the growing threat of stress and loneliness to Americans’ physical and mental wellbeing,” the statement said.
The other key nominations and appointments of his health team announced include XavieIndian-American Dr Vivek Murthy appointed Surgeon General in Joe Biden’s team Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services; Dr Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith, COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair.
Meanwhile, Dr Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Adviser to the President on COVID-19, will continue in his role as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Jeff Zients, Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President. In addition, former White House and Pentagon senior advisor Natalie Quillian will serve as Deputy Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response, the statement added.
President-elect Joe Biden said, “This trusted and accomplished team of leaders will bring the highest level of integrity, scientific rigour, and crisis-management experience to one of the toughest challenges America has ever faced — getting the pandemic under control so that the American people can get back to work, back to their lives, and back to their loved ones.”
He further said that the team will “be ready on day one to mobilize every resource of the federal government to expand testing and masking, oversee the safe, equitable, and free distribution of treatments and vaccines, re-open schools and businesses safely, lower prescription drug and other health costs and expand affordable health care to all Americans, and rally the country and restore the belief that there is nothing beyond America’s capacity if we do it together.”