Biden unveils COVID-19 task force
President-elect Joe Biden on Monday named a number of health experts who will serve on his coronavirus task force.
The experts include Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority who said he was forced out his position earlier this year after opposing promoting unproven treatments.
Bioethicist and oncologist Zeke Emanuel, who served as former adviser to the Obama administration on the Affordable Care Act and is brother of former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and Atul Gawande, a surgeon who served as advisor to the Clinton and Obama administrations, will also serve on the panel.
Other experts who will serve as co-chairs include Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general who served under the Obama administration; David Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of internal medicine, public health and management and the founding director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center.
The three also served as advisers on Biden’s campaign.
“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” the president-elect said in a statement.
Biden had announced plans shorty after being projected winner of the presidential election on Saturday to name “a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint” that will start in January, when he is inaugurated.
“That plan will be built on bedrock science,” he said.
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told The Hill last week that she expected the task force could begin holding briefings ahead of January.
“I think that’s quite likely that would occur right away,” she said Friday.
Monday’s development comes as the U.S. approaches 10 million coronavirus cases. More than 237,000 deaths have also been reported in the nation.
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