The Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity. Vivek Murthy, doctor, Harvard graduate and… Joe Biden’s health adviser, earned more than two million dollars (1.65 million euros) during the outbreak in speeches and management consultancies the health crisis, reveals the Washington Post. The American daily had access to income tax returns by Vivek Murthy, as part of the public health administrator nomination process for Joe Biden’s government. Enough to raise the eyebrows of several scientists: Naomi Oreskes, science historian, says she finds the situation “Really problematic”, on Twitter. Vivek Murthy is due to appear before the Senate on Thursday for the confirmation hearing of his appointment.
In detail, Vivek Murthy received $ 400,000 from the cruise ship company Carnival – which notably owns the Diamond Princess, famous for being a cluster at the start of the crisis – for consultancy assignments. Likewise, the Airbnb platform called on him to set up its health protocols, for $ 410,000 (340,000 euros), plus 2,000 actions worth about 402,000 dollars (330,000 euros), notes the Washington Post. The doctor also billed 292,500 dollars (240,000 euros) to the cosmetics giant Estée Lauder and 600,000 dollars (494,000 euros) to Netflix, which he advised on the conditions of return to work in person. Finally, he gave speeches to various audiences such as Google, UBS Financial Services and Duke University. A one-hour intervention that can be remunerated at 30,000 dollars (25,000 euros).
Health administrator under Obama
Vivek Murthy has pledged to follow the ethical rules set out by Joe Biden, and has completed his declarations of interest, but these financial ties to companies could jeopardize his appointment as a Senate public health administrator on Thursday. Democrats have often criticized the Trump administration for its ties to the private sector. However, the party cannot afford to lose a single vote as its majority is hanging by a thread.
The doctor, who previously held this post under Barack Obama before being fired by Trump, is particularly in favor of treating gun violence from a public health perspective. According to Washington Post, Democratic and pro-gun senator Joe Manchin who already voted against Vivek Murthy in 2014 “Has not yet decided” of his vote. The suspense is likely to last until then.
Source: Libération by www.liberation.fr.
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