Biden hails ‘renowned physician’ Vivek Murthy

US President-elect Joe Biden has introduced Indian American nominee for US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy as a “renowned physician” who could help guide Americans safely out of a still ranging coronavirus pandemic.

Biden’s remarks on Wednesday came as he spoke to the strength of his “world class” and “crisis tested” health team at an event in Delaware. Also on Biden’s health roster: health secretary nominee Xavier Becerra, Anthony Fauci, Rochelle Walensky and Marcella Nunez-Smith for crucial roles in the post-Trump administration.

Biden’s choices reflect his COVID-19 strategy which will focus on scientific evidence, equitable distribution of vaccines and safe reopening of schools. Biden is promising to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to 100 million people in the first 100 days of his government.

Biden repeated his call for all Americans to wear masks for 100 days and said he plans to mandate masks in federal buildings and on public transportation. Biden said he thinks the virus can be brought under enough control that is good enough for a majority of schools to reopen within his first 100 days.

Biden warned that the answers would not come easy. “We’re in a very dark winter,” Biden said, looking straight into the camera.

The coronavirus has killed more than 285,000 people in America alone, and sickened more than 15 million so far.