MYSURU: Ahead of the US Presidential elections, with former US President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others backing Democratic presidential candiate Joe Biden, Karnataka native and former US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy has also supported the former vice-president.
Murthy, a native of Halagere in Mandya district and a physician, has served as former Vice Admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, who addressed the Democratic National Convention.
Backing Biden, Murthy said, "Tonight as a father, son and grandson, as a doctor who swore an oath as an American who loves my country, I can tell you that Joe Biden is the man I trust to look out for my family and the leader I know will heal this nation."
"I know it’s not typical for a former Surgeon general to speak at a convention. Surgeon generals are appointed by presidents but our work isn't about politics. Our highest duty is to the public, our true guide is science and our job is to speak the truth about public health even when its controversial or perceived as political," he added.
Criticising president Donald Trump, Murthy said, "So here's the truth- our nation absolutely has what it takes to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic that claimed tens of thousands of our loved ones. We have the talent, resources and technology. What we are missing is leadership! We need a leader who works with states to ensure that everyone who needs a test gets one and get results quickly. A leader who secures a safe, effective vaccine and distributes it quickly and fairly. A leader who inspires us to practice distancing and wear masks not as a political statement, but as a patriotic duty, a commitment we make to one another."
"That is why I am here tonight not because of politics or for the party but because I know Joe Biden can be that leader. I have worked with him, I have seen who he is with no cameras around. How he sits with people in their pain and holds him in his heart. How he pours over COVID briefings asking smart questions, letting science guide his way, just as he did when managing the EBOLA crisis six years ago. When he met my family, many of them, who were immigrants, were awed to be at the nation’s capital. I saw how he kneeled beside my grandmother’s wheelchair, took her hands and said 'Thank you for choosing us, the United States of America, as the place to trust with your family'," he added.
As the convention started, his cousin and family members tuned televisions in the wee hours to hear him. Vasanth, cousin of Vivek said that they are delighted that Vivek was picked to address the convention and speak his conscience.
He said that Vivek, his father HN Narashima Murthy have not forgotten their roots in Mandya as they have set up the Society of Children of Planet Earth (SCOPE) Foundation to extend health care and give away scholarships to toppers who are in need.
The family has also come out with the Mother of Earth concept that will have statues of 32 great personalities reflecting all faiths. However, work on the project has been put off due to COVID-19 pandemic and will take shape during the next year in Halagere, 20 kms from Mandya town.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Murthy said that they are happy for Vivek being invited to address the Democratic National Convention. He also expressed anguish over COVID-19 of having become a threat to humanity and wished that the number of active cases came down in Bengaluru. He also expressed his desire to know the pandemic's impact on tourist flow in Mysuru.