Indiaspora hails Biden’ choice of ‘a highly competent, knowledgeable and thoughtful leader.’
Chosen to be “America’s Doctor” once again, Indian American physician Dr. Vivek Murthy says he would be a “voice for science” in President elect Joe Biden’s health team focused on containing the coronavirus pandemic.
“I never dreamed I’d have the honor to once again serve as Surgeon General,” tweeted Murthy shortly after Biden Monday officially unveiled the incoming administration’s health team to tackle the pandemic which has killed over 280,000 Americans and ravaged the economy.
“In this moment of crisis, I’m grateful for the opportunity to help end this pandemic, be a voice for science, and support our nation on its path to rebuilding and healing,” wrote Murthy who served as surgeon general from 2014 to 2017 under President Barack Obama.
“It is very heartening and reassuring to know that a highly competent, knowledgeable and thoughtful leader like Vivek Murthy has been chosen by President-elect Biden to fill the role of Surgeon General, which is slated to encompass expanded responsibilities in the next administration,” said Sanjeev Joshipura, ExecutivDirector, Indiaspora, welcoming Murthy’s selection.
RELATED: Indian American Vivek Murthy returns as Biden’s surgeon general (December 7, 2020)
“In fact, we believe and hope that at a time like this, with Covid causing the worst public health crisis in a century, that the Surgeon General’s office should be a cabinet level position,” he suggested.
Murthy who originally hails from a village in Karnataka’s Mandya district, at 37 was the youngest person to serve as ‘America’s Doctor’ as the surgeon general is called.
“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,” a Biden-Harris transition announcement noted.
The new team includes California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as secretary of Health and Human Services and Dr. Rochelle Walensky as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris also announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, will remain as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“This is a team that looks like America and brings together leaders with deep experience in public health, government, and crisis management,” the transition said.
READ: Vivek Murthy named co-chair of Biden covid-19 advisory board (November 9, 2020)
“Together, they will advise President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on implementing a whole-of-government response to surge testing and tracing to slow the spread of the virus, protect frontline workers, and ensure the safe and efficient delivery of treatments and vaccines at no cost to the American people.”
“And, they will help fulfill the President-elect’s vision of making health care a right — not a privilege — for all Americans, building on the Affordable Care Act to lower health care costs and tackle prescription drug costs,” it said.
“Containing this coronavirus pandemic and opening our economy responsibly require listening to experts and leaders like the ones we are bringing together on this health care team,” Harris said.
“They are some of America’s top physicians, public health experts, and crisis-tested public servants, and they reflect the very best of our nation,” she said.
“This is the team that the American people need and deserve to make quality, affordable health care available to all and to help make sure safe and effective vaccines — as well as testing and treatment — are free and equitably distributed,” Harris said.
The Indian American leader said Biden and she “will work closely with this team to marshal the full resources and capabilities of the United States of America to save lives, contain this pandemic, and build better preparedness for future pandemics and other health threats.”
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, according to his official bio.
Prior to his tenure as Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy co-founded VISIONS, a global HIV/AIDS education organization; the Swasthya Project, a rural health partnership that trained women in South India to become community health workers and educators; TrialNetworks, a technology company dedicated to improving collaboration and efficiency in clinical trials; and Doctors for America, a nonprofit mobilizing physicians and medical students to improve access to affordable care.
His scientific research has focused on vaccine development and the participation of women and minorities in clinical trials.
Raised in Miami, Dr. Murthy received his bachelor of arts degree from Harvard, his masters in business administration from the Yale School of Management, and his MD from the Yale School of Medicine.
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