Two Leading Indian Americans Among Joe Biden's Core Advisers

Two Leading Indian Americans Among Joe Biden's Core Advisers

If Democrat Joe Biden wins the presidency, he is likely to turn to two leading Indian Americans among his “core advisers” to tackle the twin health and economic crises facing the nation.

According to the New York Times, Biden is “leaning on veteran advisers with high-level governmental experience rather than outsiders and ideological rivals to help guide him.”

Among them are Dr. Vivek Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General appointed by then President Barack Obama, and Harvard economist Raj Chetty.

When two people who had traveled with his Indian American running mate Kamala Harris tested positive for the coronavirus earlier last month, Murthy was among two health experts present at Biden campaign’s conference call with reporters, the Times said.

The other was Dr. David A. Kessler, who led the Food and Drug Administration under presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.

Murthy and Kessler have been two of the most prominent medical figures whose counsel Biden was sought during the public health crisis, the Times said.

“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, the Times said.

In addition to Kessler and Murthy, the campaign’s advisers have also included Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, who advised the Obama White House on health policy, and Lisa Monaco, Obama’s former homeland security adviser, the report said.

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

Those who have briefed Biden include Chetty, a Harvard economist who has produced path-breaking research on economic mobility and its roots in the last several years, it said.

Others include Lisa D. Cook, a Michigan State University economist and veteran of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, who has published work on the economic costs of racial discrimination in innovation and other areas, and Janet L. Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, the major daily added.

On foreign policy, the Times noted Biden would come to office with more experience than any president in memory.

Perhaps most influential among his foreign policy advisers is Antony Blinken, who worked for Biden on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 2000s and served as a deputy national security adviser and deputy secretary of state under Obama, it said.

Known more for his diplomatic touch than any fixed ideas, he is considered a likely candidate for national security adviser or secretary of state, the Times said.