Celine Gounder, Assistant Professor in the New york University Grossman school of medicine, has been appointed as a member of the Coronavirus taskforce of US president-elect Joe Biden. She who has her origins in India, is a daughter of Mr. Nataraj Gounder from Tamil nadu. Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy and leader of the opposition party MK Stalin, congratulated her for her immense achievement. Vivek Murthy, a former US surgeon General has made it to the task force as well. His family was originally from Karnataka. It is notable that he was asked to resign by the Trump administration in 2017 and he is making his comeback to the health policy.
I'm extremely happy that @celinegounder & @vivek_murthy have been appointed in the National Pandemic Taskforce of US to combat #COVID19. Both of them have made India proud and I'm very glad to learn that Dr.Celine Gounder has a Tamil heritage. My best wishes to both of them. pic.twitter.com/b6EkrmOKB8— Edappadi K Palaniswami (@CMOTamilNadu) November 10, 2020
Glad to hear about the appointment of @celinegounder to the President-Elect Joe Biden’s National Pandemic Taskforce to combat COVID-19. Happy to hear about the appointment of a woman of Tamil origin to this crucial task force.— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) November 10, 2020
Congratulations & Best wishes. pic.twitter.com/qmMH7gjZQ9
Going by her Linkedin account, Celine Gounder is a practicing HIV/infectious diseases specialist and internist, epidemiologist, journalist and filmmaker. She completed her BA Molecular Biology from Princeton university and did her Master of science in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg school of Public health. In University of Washington, Celine did her MD.
Celine whose native is a village in Erode, was an intern and resident in Internal Medicine at Harvard’s Massachusetts general Hospital, and a post-doctoral fellow in Infectious diseases at john Hopkins university. In the year 2016, she was elected as a fellow of the Infectious diseases society of America.
Celine has been happily sharing the tweets are appreciation she is receiving through her official twitter account.
Indian TV went to the village to interview my family! https://t.co/FeobbAg6Oe— Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA (@celinegounder) November 10, 2020
My people in Tamil Nadu, India are very proud: pic.twitter.com/xtFzCFNrdM— Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA (@celinegounder) November 10, 2020
Meanwhile, a number of Twitter users criticized Celine for not removing her second name which represents a particular caste in Tamil nadu. “Please remove the caste name, It doesn’t suits your education” said one of a twitter user whereas another asked which university gave her the “Gounder” degree.
அமெரிக்கா போனாலும், MD படிச்சாலும் ஆதிக்க #ஜாதி உணர்வு மட்டும் போகாது.— SathishSelvaraj (@Sathish3889) November 10, 2020
பெயருக்கு பின்னால் MD க்கு முன்னால இருப்பது ஏந்த பல்கலைக்கழகம் கொடுத்த பட்டம்?
அந்த பேருக்கு பின்னாடி ஒட்டீட்டு இருக்குறது எடுத்துட்டா நல்லாருக்குமே… ப்ளீஸ்… படிச்ச படிப்புக்கு செட்டாகுல…— Navaneetha Kannan (@uvnavanee) November 10, 2020
சாதி பெயர் ??? . எவ்வளவு உயர்ந்தாலும் சாதியை கட்டி இழுதுசெல்லும் அவலம் என்று ஒழியுமோ???— SP RAJAN (@SPRAJAN17) November 11, 2020
Congratulations. But pls remove gounder from your name. Tamils won't put caste in their name!!— Daniel (@unknown_tweetz) November 10, 2020
Responding to such comments and criticisms, Celine said that her father immigrated to America in the year 1960 and Americans found it difficult to pronounce his name “Natarajan”. She said “Gounder” was easier for them and shared an article which said Vice president Kamala harris’ name was mispronounced.
Check out her tweets here :
“My father changed his name to Gounder in the early 1970s before I was born. My name is my name. It’s part of my history and identity, even if some of that history is painful. I didn’t change my name when I got married. I’m not changing it now.” she firmly said in another tweet.
My father changed his name to Gounder in the early 1970s before I was born. My name is my name. It's part of my history and identity, even if some of that history is painful. I didn't change my name when I got married. I'm not changing it now.— Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA (@celinegounder) November 10, 2020