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Biden campaign announces public health panel to advise on coronavirus

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Joe Biden’s presidential campaign announced Wednesday it is forming a “Public Health Advisory Committee” to advise on steps that Biden, his staff and his supporters can take to reduce the threat to reduce the threat of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

The panel, made up of six doctors and former government officials, will “provide science-based, expert advice regarding steps the campaign should take to minimize health risks for the candidate, staff, and supporters,” the former vice president’s campaign said. 

“The campaign’s top priority is and will continue to be the health and safety of the public.”

The committee members are: Dr. Zeke Emanuel, the vice provost of global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school; Dr. Rebecca Katz, an associate professor in Georgetown University’s department of microbiology and immunology; Dr. David Kessler, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; Lisa Monaco, the former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President Obama; Dr. Vivek Murthy, the former surgeon general; and Dr. Irwin Redlener, a clinical professor at the Columbia University Mailman Public School of Health.

The announcement comes a day after both Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) canceled rallies Tuesday night in Cleveland over concerns about the virus’s spread. The move has fueled speculation about how the two candidates’ campaigns will handle events heading deeper into the primary race.

Both Biden and Sanders have hammered the Trump administration over the handling of the coronavirus, saying the White House has not taken serious enough action to curb the spread of the illness.

The U.S. has more than 1,110 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the disease a pandemic. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Joe Biden Vivek Murthy

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