U.S. President-elect Joe Biden vows to tackle coronavirus; to name advisers on Monday

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Chase Centre in Wilmington, Delaware on November 7, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has assured Americans that his first task is to get the raging coronavirus pandemic under control with a definite plan that will be “built on bedrock science,” as the deadly disease has killed over 237,000 people in the country.

“That’s the only way we can get back to living,” Mr. Biden said in his victory speech, hours after he was declared the winner of the November 3 presidential election held amidst the pandemic.

Also read: U.S. Presidential Elections 2020 | Biden blasts Trump as COVID-19 cases mount and Pence staff endures outbreak

He also announced that on Monday he will form a group of leading scientists and experts to bring the pandemic under control.

“On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris Covid plan and convert it into an action blueprint that will start on January 20, 2021,” he said in his hometown of Delaware.

“That plan will be built on bedrock science,” Mr. Biden said, adding that he will “spare no effort” to turn the pandemic around.

His remarks are significant as incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump has been accused of not listening to his own health experts on now to combat the deadly disease, allowing it to spread across the nation.

The U.S. is currently the world’s worst-hit nation from the pandemic after it emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year.

Indian-American Vivek Murthy expected to co-chair Biden’s coronavirus task force

Indian-American physician Dr Vivek Murthy is expected to co-chair the coronavirus task force which President-elect Joe Biden is going to announce on Monday.

Watch | Who is Vivek Murthy?

Dr. Murthy, 43, who originally hails from Karnataka, was appointed America’s 19th Surgeon General by then president Barack Obama in 2014.

Born in the U.K., he was the youngest ever to hold the office at the age of 37. He was later asked to step down by the Trump administration.

The President-elect, however, did not announce who would lead that task force.

The Washington Post said that the task force would be co-chaired by Dr Murthy, the former Surgeon General, and David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner.

The task force could begin meeting within days, the daily said.

In his victory speech, Mr. Biden said that the plan will be built on a bedrock of science.

“It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy and concern. I will spare no effort — or commitment — to turn this pandemic around,” he said.

During the campaign period, Dr. Murthy emerged as one of the top advisors of Mr. Biden on public health and coronavirus issues. Many believe that he might end up being the Health Secretary in the Biden administration.

In May, the Biden Campaign appointed congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Dr. Murthy as co-chairs to the Healthcare Task Force.

At a fund raiser organised by Indian-Americans in September which was addressed by Mr. Biden, Dr. Murthy had said that Mr. Biden is the kind of guy he would like to invite home for dinner.

“Joe Biden is the kind of guy I would love to bring home to have dinner with my mom and dad,” Dr. Murthy had said in his opening remarks, adding that some homemade ‘Masala Dasa’ would be served.

“He’s authentic. He’s real. And he says what he thinks and that’s something I really love about him He says what’s on his mind. He’s honest and true,” he said.

Mr. Biden, he said, is a man who generally meets with his values and those values are so reliably centred around generosity and community.

“It’s who he is,” Murthy said.

At another fundraiser, Dr. Murthy said that Mr. Biden’s recognition and appreciation for immigrants and for communities like Indian-Americans is forming an incredibly important part of the backbone of the United States of America.

“This is a moment for our country when leadership matters, when values matter. When we go to the voting booth, as we think about how to build support for the candidate that will best reflect our vision and our hopes and our dreams. Let’s lead with our values. And let’s vote for the person who understands us,” Dr. Murthy said, firmly backing Mr. Biden.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 6:08:43 AM |

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