Indian American Nahid Bhadelia On White House COVID-19 Response Team

The White House COVID-19 Response team was established by US President Joe Biden to tackle the pandemic.

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Nahid Bhadelia, Indian American infectious diseases physician, has been appointed as the Senior Policy Advisor for Global COVID Response at the White House.

Currently on sabbatical from her full-time position as the Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Boston University's School of Medicine, Bhadelia was named to the Global COVID Response team by US President Joe Biden.

Biden created this team in order to respond strategically to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. At present, the response team is led by Dr. Ashish Jha who is the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. Jha is also on a short-term leave from the Brown University School of Public Health, where he serves as the Dean.

Bhadelia announced in a tweet that she had some "big personal news."

"I am honored to join @WHCovidResponse as the Senior Policy Advisor for Global COVID-19 Response. I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve my country and to continue working with our global partners."
Nahid Bhadelia, Senior Policy Advisor for White House Global Covid-19 Response Team, said on her official Twitter page.

Gloria Waters, Boston University's Vice President and Associate Provost for Research, commended Bhadelia's background in health and human security, international affairs, and training in infectious diseases.

Waters added that Bhadelia was a great addition to the White House team because of her extensive experience in health system response to emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola, Zika and COVID-19. Bhadelia's work has provided her with "invaluable insights into the underlying challenges to pandemic preparedness," Waters said.

"Dr. Bhadelia is widely known as an international expert and leader in highly communicable and emerging infectious diseases. She has extensive clinical, field, academic, and policy experience in pandemic preparedness."
Gloria Waters, Boston University's Vice President and Associate Provost for Research

Nahid Bhadelia's Work

Bhadelia was born in India and grew up in Sweden and Saudi Arabia. She moved to the US as a teenager.

She is the founder of Boston University's Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research (CEID) and also an associate director of BU's National Emerging Infectious Diseases laboratories (NEIDL).

Bhadelia was instrumental in helping launch and develop the Special Pathogens Unit at Boston Medical Center, the university's primary teaching hospital.

Under Bhadelia's leadership, the CEID has grown into a crucial centre for research and actionable policies. The centre has helped in congressional hearings, advised legislative offices, created policy briefs and contributed in pandemic preparedness bills, according to the Boston University's publication, The Brink.

Bhadelia has also worked in West and East Africa during several Ebola virus outbreaks. She has helped build pandemic preparedness strategies in Liberia and Uganda and also codirects the Boston University and University of Liberia Emerging and Epidemic Virus Research Program, which is funded by the Fogarty International Center.

(With inputs from The Brink, Boston University, American Bazaar, American Kahani)

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