US President-elect Joe Biden appoints two Indian origin doctors to his COVID-19 advisory board

According to President-elect Joe Biden, his COVID-19 advisory board will be responsible for helping the US government support and fight the pandemic.
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Joe Biden, the newly elected 46th President of the United States of America, has selected two Indian-American surgeons — Dr Vivek Murthy and Dr Atul Gawande — as a part of his COVID-19 Advisory Board on November 9.

According to media reports, President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and the Transition’s COVID-19 staff will be working closely with the elected board of healthcare professionals to curb the spread of the disease in the US.

With roots in Karnataka, Vivek Murthy had earlier held the responsibility of the 19th Surgeon General of US from 2014 to 2017. He will be one of the Co-Chairs of the advisory committee, along with Dr David Kessler and Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith.

On the other hand, Boston-based surgeon Dr Atul Gawande — who previously held the position of senior adviser in the US Department of Health and Human Services under former President Bill Clinton — is elected as one of the members of the board.

After the announcement, Dr Atul took to Twitter, saying, “I am grateful and honoured 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.”

L: Atul Gwande, R: Vivek Murthy. Image Credit: Twitter

“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. 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,” President-elect Biden said in a press statement.

While addressing the nation, Biden explained that the board will be guiding the Biden-Harris Transition in "preparing for the federal response."

“These leading scientists and public health experts will consult with state and local officials to determine the public health and economic steps necessary to get the virus under control, to deliver immediate relief to working families, to address ongoing racial and ethnic disparities, and to reopen our schools and businesses safely and effectively,” the statement said.

Apart from Dr Atul and Dr Vivek, the President-elect's COVID-19 advisory board also include Dr Luciana Borio, Dr Rick Bright, Dr Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr Celine Gounder, Dr Julie Morita, Dr Michael Osterholm, Ms Loyce Pace, Dr Robert Rodriguez, and Dr Eric Goosby.

Globally, the US has the highest number of coronavirus cases, where over 10 million people have already been tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 239,000 people have lost their lives.

Edited by Suman Singh

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