December 8, 2020

Washington, DC—The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement in response to President-Elect Biden’s appointment nominations of Vivek Murthy as US Surgeon General and Attorney General Xavier Becerra as Secretary Health and Human Services.

We applaud President-Elect Biden for nominating Attorney General Xavier Becerra for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Attorney General Becerra has been a long-standing ally for our community and is someone who understands the importance of centering communities of color, including AAPIs. We welcome the opportunity to work with him as our country seeks to turn the tide against COVID-19.

We also support the nomination of Vivek Murthy to return as the U.S. Surgeon General. He is an outstanding physician whose experience with the role of Surgeon General and his track record of handling previous viral outbreaks such as Ebola and Zika, makes his candidacy second-to-none. NCAPA supports their nominations, and we urge President-Elect Biden to nominate qualified Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Asian Americans to cabinet level positions so that our communities have a voice throughout the government.

Yousra Yusuf, President of the South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA) commented:

“The South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA) congratulates Dr. Vivek Murthy, on his nomination as the Surgeon General of the United States of America, by the upcoming Biden-Harris Administration. While the country strives to recover from this unprecedented pandemic, SAPHA anticipates increased engagement with communities of color, including with US-based Asian and South Asian communities to address vaccine access, affordable physical and mental healthcare, and safe and full return to schools and businesses.

“As a national non-profit organization committed to addressing the health and well-being of South Asians living in the US through advocacy, collaboration, and communication, SAPHA wishes Dr. Murthy continued success in his duties, and extends its support to the President-Elect’s health team to mitigate the current public health crisis.”

Jeffrey Caballero, Executive Director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) stated:

“President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have selected an impressive team of medical experts and policymakers to address concurrent public health crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to institutional racism to inequitable access to quality and affordable health care. The President-elect’s selection of Xavier Becerra as HHS Secretary, Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General, and other renowned experts to his health team reflects his commitment to health care as a human right and the need to build on the Affordable Care Act. These appointments demonstrate the President-elect’s commitment to protecting the dignity of immigrants and other underserved families, and implementing policies that promote the strength in our country’s diversity. AAPCHO and our member community health centers look forward to working with President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris and their health team to address the nation’s urgent public health challenges.” 

Juliet K. Choi, Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum added:

“APIAHF congratulates Dr. Vivek Murthy and Xavier Becerra on their nominations to be Surgeon General and Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Biden-Harris administration. In the past, APIAHF supported Dr. Murthy, when he served as Surgeon General in the Obama administration, and we have full faith that he will continue to lead our country’s public health and advance issues that deeply impact our AA and NHPI community. Similarly, Becerra has served as a strong ally to our community in his roles as Congressman and Attorney General, and we hope to work with him in promoting the health of this nation.”


Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 37 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.