Dr Murthy to play ‘America’s Doctor’ again

Washington: President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Dr Vivek Murthy as his Surgeon General, exuding confidence that the renowned Indian-American physician will be a key voice on his response to the coronavirus pandemic to restore public trust and faith in science and medicine.

Murthy, 43, served as Surgeon General during the Obama administration and had to leave abruptly when Donald Trump became the US President.

“Dr. Murthy will be one of my most trusted public health and medical advisors, and I’m grateful for his continued public service,” Biden said on Tuesday as he announced Murthy’s nomination.

“A renowned physician and research scientist. A trusted national leader on health care, and for me, a trusted advisor during this campaign and transition. This will be his second time serving as America’s Doctor, having served in this role under President Obama. During his tenure, he took on some of the most pressing public health issues we face — from the opioid crisis to threats to America’s mental health,” Biden said.

Biden said he had asked Murthy to serve again as Surgeon General, but with expanded responsibilities.

“He will be a key public voice on our COVID-19 response, to restore public trust and faith in science and medicine. But he will also be a key advisor to me and help lead an all-government approach to broader public health issues — mental health, addiction and substance use disorders, social and environmental determinants of health, and so much more,” he said.

In his remarks, Murthy said that he will dedicate himself to caring for every American, will be driven always by science and facts, by head and heart — and be endlessly grateful to serve one of the few countries in the world where the grandson of a poor farmer in India can be asked by the president-elect to look out for the health of the entire nation.

“That is a testament to the promise of America — one that I will work to fulfil every day as Surgeon General,” he said.

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