Biden’s top doctor nominee made more than $2 million doing pandemic consulting, speeches

Vivek H. Murthy in December when then-President-elect Joe Biden introduced him as part of his health team. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post) As Vivek H. Murthy advised Joe Biden on the pandemic during the 2020 presidential campaign, culminating in Murthy’s nomination as surgeon general , he also maintained a lucrative side business: coronavirus consultant to the private sector. Murthy was paid millions of dollars last year in coronavirus-related consulting for Carnival Corporation’s cruise lines, Airbnb’s rental properties and other firms, in addition to collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from dozens of organizations, according to ethics documents that Murthy filed this month. The disclosure caught the attention of longtime health policy hands — saying that Murthy has the most financial entanglements of any surgeon general pick in recent history — and of watchdogs who raise questions about how credible he would be as a spokesperson on the pandemic response and presidential adviser. “We didn’t have a full window into how enmeshed he was in the selling-advice process,” said Jeff Hauser, who leads the Revolving Door Project, part of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a progressive think tank. “There are large questions in the minds of the public about the health and safety risks that might exist in areas like the cruise industry, and we want the surgeon general to give people completely impartial advice.” Murthy, whose Senate confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday, is expected to narrowly win confirmation to return to the role of […]

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