Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian-American Dr. Vivek Murthy.(REUTERS)
Indian-American Doctor Vivek Murthy was named as Joe Biden’s Surgeon General on Monday as the president-elect of the United States unveiled his health team on Monday. He had held the same post during the tenure of former US president Barack Obama. However, this time, his role will be expanded to manage the US government response to the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. Murthy has been privately advising Biden on the pandemic for months.
After Biden made the announcement, Murthy took to Twitter to express the gratitude and wrote, “I never dreamed I’d have the honor to once again serve as Surgeon General. 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.”
The 43-year-old 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 one to hold the office. He was asked to step down by the Trump administration later.
The health team also includes Dr Anthony Fauci as Chief Medical Adviser to the President on Covid-19, Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Dr Rochelle Walensky was named as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith as Covid-19 Equity Task Force Chair.
The United States is among the worst-affected countries due to the Covid-19. As per Reuters’ report, more than 282,000 Americans have died due to the viral disease, forcing state governments to impose strict lockdown.
Earlier in the day, authorities in California, the most populous state in the country with about 40 million residents, compelled much of the state to close shop and stay at home the day after it reported a record 30,000-plus new cases.
(With agency inputs)