Dr Murthy’s nomination runs into trouble over Covid consultancy

Washington: Not only Neera Tanden, Dr Vivek Murthy’s nomination for US surgeon general position in the Biden administration is also facing headwinds in the tightly-divided Senate. His liberal credentials that met conservative opposition in the past is now compounded by coronavirus-related financial entanglements that are drawing scrutiny ahead of his confirmation this week.

Murthy, according to media reports, has earned millions of dollars over the past year as a coronavirus consultant to the private sector, raising questions about his credibility and efficacy as a presidential adviser on the hot button issue.

Murthy, according to the reports, disclosed at least $2.6 million in consulting fees and speaking engagements since January 2020, in addition to serving as an adviser to four companies that focus on health services and products, as per his ethics submission before a Senate panel set to hear his testimony.

The earnings include $400,000 from Carnival Corporation — the parent company of the virus-stricken cruise ships the Grand Princess and Diamond Princess. He also received $410,000 in cash and 2,000 stock shares from Airbnb for advising them on virus safety protocols to navigate the pandemic.

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