United States President Joe Biden on Thursday said that Indian Americans were taking over the country, referring to the high number of people from the community being part of the administration, reported PTI.
“Indian-of-descent Americans are taking over the country,” Biden said in a virtual interaction with NASA scientists who were involved in the landing of rover Perseverance at Mars. “You [Swati Mohan], my Vice President [Kamala Harris], my speech writer [Vinay Reddy].” Swati Mohan, an Indian-American, is the lead on the guidance, navigation, and control operations of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission.
Biden has appointed at least 55 Indian Americans to important leadership positions in his administration in less than 50 days of his presidency. This count does not include Vice President Kamala Harris as hers is an elected position, and Neera Tanden, whose nomination for the position of Director of White House Office of Management and Budget was withdrawn by the president on Tuesday.
Earlier in the week, physician Vivek Murthy testified before a Senate Committee for the Surgeon General role. Murthy earlier served as the 19th surgeon general from 2014 to 2017. Civil Rights Attorney Vanita Gupta will also appear for her confirmation hearing for the associate attorney general in the Department of Justice.
Further, nearly half of the Indian Americans concerned are women and most of them are working in the White House. Indian American women appointed by Biden include Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Uzra Zeya, Policy Director to Jill Biden, Mala Adiga, Partnership Manager of White House Office of Digital Strategy Aisha Shah and Deputy Director of US National Economic Council Sameera Fazili.
So far, the Obama-Biden administration from 2009-2017 had appointed the largest number of Indian-Americans in any administration. The Donald Trump administration had also appointed the first-ever Indian American with a Cabinet rank and inside the National Security Council.
“It is impressive to see how many Indian Americans were ready to go into public service,” Indian-American philanthropist and Indiaspora founder M Rangaswami told PTI. “There have been so many additions since we launched our Government Leaders list last month on Presidents’ Day. I am so proud to see our community is going from strength to strength!”
Neha Dewan, a member of voluntary organisation South Asians for Biden, told PTI the group was thrilled that the current administration reflects the diversity of America by including a huge number of South Asians. “The Biden-Harris administration’s inclusion of South Asians in key senior staff roles will undoubtedly inspire countless South Asians to aspire to public service and run for public office,” she said. “This is a proud moment for our community.”