43-year-old Indian American named Dr Vivek Murthy was appointed by the Senate as the surgeon general of US President Joe Biden.
As per reports, Dr Murthy had earlier served as the surgeon general during the Obama administration. He had founded several health advocacy groups and helped tackle the opioid crisis in the United States. The Senate reinstated him yet again as the surgeon General with a 57-43 vote.
In a tweet, Dr Murthy said, “I’m deeply grateful to be confirmed by the Senate to serve once again as your Surgeon General. We’ve endured great hardship as a nation over the past year, and I look forward to working with you to help our nation heal and create a better future for our children. “
I’m deeply grateful to be confirmed by the Senate to serve once again as your Surgeon General. We’ve endured great hardship as a nation over the past year, and I look forward to working with you to help our nation heal and create a better future for our children. #TogetherWeRise pic.twitter.com/cwMFephQGk— Vivek Murthy (@vivek_murthy) March 24, 2021
Recounting his childhood in a video message, the Indian American said, “Years ago, I was inspired to become a doctor by my parents who immigrated to the United States with a few resources. But with a deep belief in the promise of America. They set up a small medical practice in Miami where as a child, I watched them make house calls in the middle of the night. And attend birthdays, funerals and weddings for their patients because they saw them as family.”
“When I became a doctor, I tried to live by the lessons they embodied. To listen first, to treat each patient with dignity and to care for others with both knowledge and compassion. Recognising that both the have the power to heal. These are the lessons that I will bring to my role as the nations’ doctor”, he added. Born in England, Dr Murthy is a graduate of Harvard University. He has founded 2 non-profit organisations, which are focussed on AIDS education in India and the US and training female health workers in rural India.
Dr Vivek Murthy earlier served under the Obama administration
Due to his close political association with ex-President Barack Obama and his advocacy of gun control, the Republicans were wary of Dr Murthy. Owing to the political conflict, the position of surgeon general remained vacant for more than a year during the Obama administration. When Donald Trump took office, Dr Murthy was asked to resign. He was fired on refusing to tender his resignation.
Led the US in the fight against Ebola, Zika virus
Prior to his re-appointment as the surgeon general, Dr Vivek Murthy served as the co-chair of Joe Biden’s Coronavirus advisory Board. CNN reported that he is expected to have an ‘expanded portfolio’ under the new President. He was involved in leading the US during the outbreak of Ebola and Zika virus between 2014 and 2017.
Dr Jerome Adams, who held the post of surgeon general under the Trump administration, announced in January that he was been told to vacate his office. This is despite the fact that his term was set to expire in September this year. Dr Vivek Murthy told the Senate that he would his highest priority would be ending the Coronavirus pandemic.