US President-elect Joe Biden has tapped his key COVID-19 advisor Dr Vivek Murthy as the next Surgeon General, a role for which he was appointed during the Obama administration and had to leave abruptly during the current Trump administration, according to a media report. The 43-year-old Indian-American doctor is one of the three co-chairs of the Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board. Vivek H Murthy, a former US surgeon general, has been asked to reprise the role in an expanded version in the new administration, The Washington Post reported on Thursday, quoting an individual familiar with the decision. A formal announcement in this matter is expected soon.
The surgeon general serves a four-year term and is the top government official on public health issues. Jerome Adams is the incumbent Surgeon General. Murthy is expected to be part of a team of health-care officials charged with tackling the issue Biden has said would be his top priority upon taking office, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the report said.
He was appointed as the Surgeon General on December 15, 2014, after being approved by a 5143 Senate vote. He was relieved of his duties on April 21, 2017, by President Donald Trump. Politico on Thursday reported that Murthy will return to that role, but with a broader portfolio that will include acting as the top medical expert and public face of the effort. Another co-chair of the advisory board, Jeff Zients, is set to serve as the White House's COVID-19 coordinator, the report said. Co-founder and president of Doctors for America, Dr Murthy was a hospitalist 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, Murthy 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 co-founded 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.