President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled the members of his COVID-19 task force.
Soon-to-be President Biden has already hit the ground running with his attempt to turn the country around following the disastrous four years of Donald Trump. His latest announcement comes from his transition team, who unveiled Biden’s coronavirus task force on Monday, which includes major figures in medicine, government health officials, and leaders in academics.
According to Stat News, the list includes Rick Bright, former head of vaccine-development agency BARDA, who was thrown out by the Trump Administration back in April; Atul Gawande, surgeon, writer, and the former CEO of Haven, the joint JP Morgan Chase-Berkshire Hathaway-Amazon health care venture; and Luciana Borio, a former Food and Drug Administration official and biodefense specialist, writes Lav Facher.
Biden has made battling the spread of COVID-19 a top priority on his to-do list for his incoming presidency and administration. Biden says his team intends to reach out to state and local health officials to determine the best options for preventing the spread of the virus. They also are considering the reopening of schools and businesses, as well as tackling the racial disparities that have resulted in communities of color being affected more by the pandemic.
Biden released a statement on Monday that said: “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 advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”
Others set to join the task force also include public health officials Julie Morita, a former Chicago health commissioner, and Eric Goosby, the federal government Ryan White HIV/AIDS program’s founding director. There are also doctors and scholars like the former health care adviser for the Obama Administration, Zeke Emanuel, and Celine Gounder, a physician medical journalist who has a long resume that includes experience fighting HIV and tuberculosis outbreaks.
As Biden transitions, he has 4,000 federal jobs to fill, and 1,250 of those need to be confirmed by the Senate. The nominations to the cabinet may depend on which party controls the Senate.