Washington, DC: Indian-American Vivek Murthy on Monday was named one of the three co-chairs of the COVID-19 Advisory Board that will guide President-elect Joe Biden on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 236,000 lives in the country.
Dr Murthy, a former US Surgeon General, along with two other co-chairs, would lead a team of leading public health experts who will advise Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the deadly virus.
Indian-American doctor Atul Gawande has been included in the advisory board.
The 55-year-old Boston-based surgeon, who is known for his writings and books about the medical field, expressed confidence that the virus can be brought under control, and lives and livelihoods can be saved.
“I’m grateful and honored to be asked to serve and to contribute to ending this pandemic. We have runaway spread right now. But I am confident we can get the virus under control, save lives and livelihoods, and bring people back together again,” Dr Gawande tweeted.
A surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston he is also a professor at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The US is currently the world’s worst-hit nation from 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.
New cases are rising in at least 40 states, with more than 9.3 million total infections and more than 236,000 deaths, the media release said.
“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,” he said.
Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the US from 2014-2017.
The Transition Covid-19 Advisory Board is co-chaired by former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler, former Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy and Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith, Yale associate professor of medicine and epidemiology.
Dr Beth Cameron and Dr Rebecca Katz are serving as advisors to the Transition on COVID-19 and will work closely with the Advisory Board, the Biden-Harris transition team said.