FTC Vivek Murthy2-1607515793674
US President-elect Joe Biden listens with Dr. Vivek Murphy, Biden's nominee to be US Surgeon General, during a news conference at Biden's transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 8, 2020. Image Credit: REUTERS

Washington: Indian-American Dr Vivek Murthy, a distinguished physician and former Vice Admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, has been nominated to serve as the US Surgeon General in President-elect Joe Biden’s health team, leading the Covid-19 response team.

“Dr Murthy 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 adviser to President-elect Biden, he currently serves as co-chair of the President-elect’s Covid-19 transition Advisory Board.

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 well-being,” an official statement announcing the nomination said.

One of the three co-chairs

Dr Murthy was appointed in the same role during the Obama administration and had to leave abruptly during the current Trump administration. The 43-year-old Indian-American doctor is one of the three co-chairs of the Biden’s Covid-19 Advisory Board.

Dr Murthy will return to the role with a broader portfolio that will include acting as the top medical expert and public face of the effort. Co-founder and president of Doctors for America, Dr Murthy was a hospitalise attending physician and instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, a position he has held since 2006. In 2011, he was appointed to serve as a Member of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

Murthy has been the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of TrialNetworks, formerly known as Epernicus, since 2007. He cofounded VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organisation focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States, where he served as president from 1995 to 2000 and Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2003. Murthy attended college at Harvard University and graduated in 1997 with a bachelor of arts in biochemical sciences. He earned an MD degree from Yale School of Medicine and an MBA from Yale School of Management.