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Biden names Vivek Murthy to chair Coronavirus task force

President-elect Joe Biden this morning named former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to co-chair his coronavirus task force, reports CNBC.

In 2013, he became the first Indian American to serve as Surgeon General. He is an outspoken advocate against gun violence, once calling gun ownership a threat to public health. He also has been a leader in the fight against AIDS, the opioid epidemic and loneliness as well as climate change and e-cigarettes.

He has been a member of the Biden-Harris transition team since September.

The other co-chairs are former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith of Yale University.

Judy Morita
Judy Morita: Photo from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Biden also named eight other people to the task force including Judy Morita, a former health commissioner in the city of Chicago.

She currently serves as executive Vice President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation describes itself as the largest private philanthropic organization dedicated solely to public health.

Prior to that, she worked for two decades in the  Chicago Department of Public Health, first as medical director and then as Chief Medical Officer.

Her parents,  Mototsugu and Betty Morita, were both imprisoned in a concentration camp with other Japanese Americans during WWII.

Earlier this year, she wrote a commentary in the Chicago Tribune declaring that Asian Americans are not the enemy, but are victims of the coronavirus.

In his victory speech Saturday night, Biden pledged that his administration would be reflective of America’s diversity.

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