Indian-American Vivek Murthy to lead coronavirus task force

Newly-elect US President, Joe Biden, has named his coronavirus taskforce comprising of 12 members. US surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. David Kessler will be leading the task force.

Murthy served as the US top doctors for four years under the Barack Obama administration in 2015. In 2017, he moved out of his post by Donald Trump. He was the first Indian-American to hold the position of 19th surgeon general of the United States.

Yale university’s Marcella Nunez-smith will join Murthy and Kessler. Additionally, two unidentified officials were also referring to. The rest of the members that Biden pronounced in his victory speech will be confirmed officially.

Criticism of Trump’s handling

Joe Biden has openly criticized Trump’s handling of the coronavirus situation in the US. Trump refused to wear a mask and repeatedly posted fake news on his social media accounts. Biden, in his speech, said that COVID-19 would be the government’s top priority.

“Our work begins with getting Covid under control,” he said in his victory speech. “I will spare no effort, none, or any commitment to turn around this pandemic.”

Coronavirus in the US

The United States has reportedly entered the third phase of the pandemic. Consequently, it is the worst hit recording its fourth consecutive record daily total of new covid cases. Hence, the tally is close to 99.67 lakh. More than 2.37 lakh people have died.

The task force

The weeklong focus of the task force will be on healthcare and the pandemic. Moreover, it would restore its membership of the World Health Organization that trump repudiated amid the coronavirus pandemic, calling it the lackey of China.

Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, congratulated Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris on Sunday. Moreover, he said the WHO would look forward to working with them.

In a tweet, Tedros said he and his colleagues welcomed the possibility. “Crises like the covid-19 pandemic show the importance of global solidarity in protecting lives and livelihoods, together,” he said.

Murthy’s contributions

Vivek Murthy had helped produce a report that climate change has brought about public health crises. In May, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Murthy took over as co-chairs to the Healthcare Task Force by the Biden campaign. Additionally, during the campaign period, Murthy had also emerged as Biden’s health advisor.

“We need a leader who inspires us… that’s why I am here tonight not because of politics but because I know Joe Biden can be that leader,” Vivek Murthy said.

Image courtesy of Trevor Bexon/Shutterstock

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