Washington, May 22 (PTI) Six prominent Indian-Americans from diverse fields have been named to the Biden-Sanders unity task forces announced by former vice president Joe Biden, who is the presumptive presidential nominee of the opposition Democratic Party.
Congresswoman from Seattle Pramila Jayapal and former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy have been named co-chairs of the Health Care Task Force. The unity task force is a result of Senator Bernie Sanders' endorsement of the Biden campaign.
Climate change activist Varshini Prakash, 26, from Boston is the youngest member of these task forces alongside Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 30, and environmental justice advocate Catherine Flowers, 58.
Executive director of the Sunrise Movement, a leading organisation focused on climate change among young people, Prakash will serve on the Climate Change group. Former Secretary of State John Kerry is co-chair of this task force.
Legal luminary Chirag Bains has been named a co-chairs Criminal Justice Reform Task Force. Former acting assistant attorney general Vanita Gupta, according to a statement issued by the Biden campaign.
Eminent Indian-American economist and former lobbyist Sonal Shah has been named to the Economy Task Force. "Honoured to be serving on the unity task forces. Look forward to winning in Nov!” she said.
Biden, 77, is the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. He is set to be formally nominated by the Democratic National Convention in Wisconsin in August. Once nominated, Biden will vie for the White House against 73-year-old Donald Trump, the incumbent President who is seeking re-election in the November 3 poll.
Biden and Sanders have named a diverse group of respected leaders and experts to Biden-Sanders unity task forces to explore possible policy initiatives in six areas covering: climate change, criminal justice reform, economy, education, health care, and immigration, a media statement said.
The task forces will meet in advance of the Democratic National Convention to make recommendations to the DNC Platform Committee and to Biden directly, it said.
Building upon the work of the Democratic campaigns to date, the ultimate goal of the unity task forces is to develop the most successful possible agenda for Democrats in 2020, it added.
In a blog post, Prakash attributed her being named to the Climate Crisis Task Force to Senator Sanders.
“I am grateful for Bernie Sanders believing in me, I trust his political leadership, and believe this is an opportunity for our movement to continue to advance our fight for a Green New Deal,” she said.
"Our nomination on this task force shows Joe Biden and his campaign are beginning to take seriously that power and the significance of young people within the party if we want to defeat Trump this November,” Prakash said.
“We cannot afford another four years of Donald Trump pushing us backward, and I believe in our movement’s ability to begin winning a Green New Deal under a President Biden,” she added.
Meanwhile, according to a new Fox News poll on the presidential race, former vice president Biden leads incumbent President Trump by eight percentage points.
The Republican-leaning Fox News in its latest presidential poll survey found that in the 2020 ballot test, Biden leads Trump by 48-40 per cent.
"Biden's eight-point advantage is outside the poll's margin of error. However, given that 11 per cent are undecided or plan to vote for someone else, neither candidate hits 50 per cent support. The race could go either way,” Fox concluded.
According to the poll, among voters who are extremely motivated about voting this fall, Biden has a 12-point advantage (53-41 per cent). More Biden supporters (69 per cent) than Trump supporters (63 per cent) feel extremely motivated to vote.
Trump leads by seven points among men and by 30 among rural whites. He won both groups by larger margins in 2016 (11 and 37 points respectively). Biden leads by 20 points among women and 64 points among blacks, it said, adding that the survey of 1,207 registered voters nationwide was conducted between May 17 and 20 and has a 2.5 point margin of error.
According to RealClearPolitics, which maintains an average of all major national polls, Biden leads Trump by 5.5 percentage points.