Biden picks Vivek Murthy to serve as Surgeon General

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced key nominations and appointments of his health team, including Dr. Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, a distinguished physician, research scientist, and former Vice Admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, was nominated to serve as Surgeon General of the United States.

He was previously confirmed by the Senate to serve in the same capacity, holding the post as ‘America’s Doctor’ between 2014 and 2017. A trusted national voice on health issues and a long-time advisor to President-elect Biden, he currently serves as co-chair of the President-elect’s COVID-19 transition Advisory Board. 

“I never dreamed I’d have the honor to once again serve as Surgeon General. In this moment of crisis, I’m grateful for the opportunity to help end this pandemic, be a voice for science, and support our nation on its path to rebuilding and healing,” Murthy tweeted on Monday.

Dr. Vivek Murthy 
Vivek Murthy, 19th Surgeon General of the United States.

“This trusted and accomplished team of leaders will bring the highest level of integrity, scientific rigor, and crisis-management experience to one of the toughest challenges America has ever faced — getting the pandemic under control so that the American people can get back to work, back to their lives, and back to their loved ones. This team of world-class medical experts and public servants will be ready on day one to mobilize every resource of the federal government to expand testing and masking, oversee the safe, equitable, and free distribution of treatments and vaccines, re-open schools and businesses safely, lower prescription drug and other health costs and expand affordable health care to all Americans, and rally the country and restore the belief that there is nothing beyond America’s capacity if we do it together,” said President-elect Joe Biden. 

According to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, “containing this coronavirus pandemic and opening our economy responsibly require listening to experts and leaders like the ones we are bringing together on this health care team.”

“They are some of America’s top physicians, public health experts, and crisis-tested public servants, and they reflect the very best of our nation. This is the team that the American people need and deserve to make quality, affordable health care available to all and to help make sure safe and effective vaccines — as well as testing and treatment — are free and equitably distributed. President-elect Biden and I will work closely with this team to marshal the full resources and capabilities of the United States of America to save lives, contain this pandemic, and build better preparedness for future pandemics and other health threats,” she added.

Full profile:

Dr. Vivek Murthy (Viv-ake Mur-thee) was confirmed by the Senate in 2014 to serve as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, and currently serves as co-chair of the President-elect’s COVID-19 Advisory Board. A renowned physician, research scientist, author, and entrepreneur, Dr. Murthy is among the most trusted voices in America on matters of public health.

As “America’s Doctor,” Dr. Murthy helped lead the national response to a range of health challenges, including the Ebola and Zika viruses, the opioid crisis, and the growing threat of stress and loneliness to Americans’ physical and mental wellbeing. Prior to his tenure as Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy co-founded VISIONS, a global HIV/AIDS education organization; the Swasthya Project, a rural health partnership that trained women in South India to become community health workers and educators; TrialNetworks, a technology company dedicated to improving collaboration and efficiency in clinical trials; and Doctors for America, a nonprofit mobilizing physicians and medical students to improve access to affordable care. His scientific research has focused on vaccine development and the participation of women and minorities in clinical trials. Raised in Miami, Dr. Murthy received his bachelor of arts degree from Harvard, his masters in business administration from the Yale School of Management, and his MD from the Yale School of Medicine.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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