Biden appoints former Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy as his advisor on COVID-19

Washington:  The presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Joe Biden’s campaign has announced it is forming a Public Health Advisory Committee, which includes Indian American former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, to advise on steps that Biden, his staff and his supporters can take to reduce the threat of the novel coronavirus.

The Hill reports that the panel is made up of six doctors and former government officials and will “provide science-based, expert advice regarding steps the campaign should take to minimize health risks for the candidate, staff, and supporters,” the former vice president’s campaign said. 

“The campaign’s top priority is and will continue to be the health and safety of the public,” it said.

Dr Murthy was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps who served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States from December 2014 to April 2017. Murthy had founded the nonprofit Doctors for America and became the first Surgeon General of Indian descent and, while serving in office, was the youngest active duty flag officer in federal uniformed service.

In addition to Murthy, the committee members are Dr. Zeke Emanuel, the vice provost of global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school; Dr. Rebecca Katz, an associate professor in Georgetown University’s department of microbiology and immunology; Dr. David Kessler, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; Lisa Monaco, the former Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser to President Obama; and Dr. Irwin Redlener, a clinical professor at the Columbia University Mailman Public School of Health, the report notes.

Biden has been slamming the Trump administration over the handling of the coronavirus, saying the White House has not taken serious enough action to curb the spread of the illness, it said.

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