Indian-American Vivek Murthy appointed as co-chair of US President-elect Biden COVID task force

ANI
·2-min read
Indian American Vivek Murthy, a former US Surgeon General.
Indian American Vivek Murthy, a former US Surgeon General.

Washington [US], November 9 (ANI): Indian American Vivek Murthy, a former US Surgeon General, has been named as one the three co-chairs to lead the coronavirus task force set up by President-elect Joe Biden.

Biden task force will have three-co-chairs Vivek H. Murthy, Surgeon General during the Obama administration; David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents George HW Bush and Bill Clinton; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine, Washington Post reported.

The son of immigrants from India, Murthy earned medical and MBA degrees at Yale before joining the faculty at Harvard Medical School, where his research focused on vaccine development and the participation of women and minorities in clinical trials.

Murthy and Kessler have briefed Biden for months on the pandemic.

"Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts," Biden said in a statement. "The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations."

The 13-member task force also includes former Trump administration officials, including Rick Bright, former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, who, after being demoted, spoke out against the administration's approach to the pandemic. Luciana Borio, director for medical and biodefense preparedness on Trump's National Security Council until 2019, is also on the panel.

Task force members will work with state and local officials to craft public health and economic policies to address the virus and racial and ethnic disparities, while also working to reopen schools and businesses, the transition team said in a news release.

It remains unclear whether Trump or his top aides will oversee and lead a robust response to the pandemic during the transition, which could further exacerbate the crisis Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D Harris inherit.

In his first victory speech, Biden pledged that he will spare no effort to turn around the coronavirus pandemic to revive the battered US economy. Biden had then said that he would announce a task force on coronavirus on Monday. (ANI)