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Indian-Americans Dr Vivek Murthy and Raj Chetty among Biden’s core advisers

Washington, DC: Two prominent Indian-Americans are among Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s “core advisers” who have been guiding him on issues ranging from the coronavirus pandemic, economic recovery to foreign policy and climate change, a media report said.

Biden, “plotting an ambitious presidency that would begin amid twin health and economic crises, is leaning on veteran advisers with high-level governmental experience rather than outsiders and ideological rivals to help guide him on subjects including the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s diminished standing in the world,” a report in The New York Times said.

Among those advising him on the pandemic are Dr Vivek Murthy, former US Surgeon General who was appointed by President Barack Obama and Harvard economist Raj Chetty is among those who have briefed Biden on economic issues, the report said.

Murthy and former head of the Food and Drug Administration David Kessler, as per NYT report would brief Biden “every day, or four times a week” in early days of the pandemic. 

“We would send in 80- to 90-page documents, take him through the epidemic from epidemiology, therapeutics, vaccines, testing. Staff would join, originally by phone but they soon shifted to Zoom,” Kessler said, according to the NYT report.

“The docs,” as Biden calls Kessler and Murthy, also “pore over research and data on the virus and consult with modelers, vaccinologists and other experts so they can provide Biden with projections about the coming months.”

On economy, Biden has cast a wide net for economic advice, soliciting input from several hundred policy experts, the report said.

Among those who have briefed Biden on the economy are Chetty, “who has produced pathbreaking research on economic mobility and its roots in the last several years” and former chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen.

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