On Monday, Joe Biden announced 13 members and two advisors who will form his transition COVID-19 advisory board to begin crafting his coronavirus policy in anticipation of him assuming the presidency. Biden’s announcement comes while President Donald Trump has not conceded the race due to ongoing voter fraud lawsuits and requests for recounts.
Fox News reported that Biden named Dr. David Kessler, who served as FDA commissioner in both President George H.W. Bush’s and President Bill Clinton’s administrations, as one of three co-chairs for the team. Biden also named Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general under President Barack Obama’s administration, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of internal medicine, public health and management at Yale University will serve as the other two co-chairs.
Biden’s coronavirus team is taking shape just two days after several media outlets called the election for him. The U.S. has approached nearly 10 million total COVID-19 cases, and over 237,000 COVID-19 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus case tracking map.
“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,” Biden said in a statement provided to Fox News. “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.”
Biden’s team will also include Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who helped devise the Affordable Care Act and who served as special adviser for health policy during the Obama administration.
Dr. Beth Cameron, who helped create a “pandemic playbook” under the Obama administration, and Dr. Rebecca Katz, who served on the Biden campaign’s advisory committee on coronavirus will also serve as advisors to the Biden transition COVID-19 advisory board.
Fox News reported other members on the team include Dr. Luciana Borio, who served in several senior leadership positions at the FDA; Dr. Rick Bright, who served as deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Trump administration; Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and public health researcher; Dr. Celine Gounder, a doctor and medica journalist who specializes in infectious diseases and global health; Dr. Julie Morita, who served as the health commissioner for the city of Chicago for nearly two decades; Dr. Michael Osterholm who served as a Science Envoy for Health Security for the U.S. State Department, and as an epidemiologist for the state of Minnesota; Dr. Loyce Pace, who served in leadership positions at LIVESTRONG Foundation and the American Cancer Society; Dr. Robert Rodriguez, an emergency care doctor who volunteered to help during a critical surge of COVID-19 cases in Brownsville, Texas; and Dr. Eric Goosby, who implemented the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) under the Obama administration.
Biden’s coronavirus team also takes shape as President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed has reportedly neared completion on a number of COVID-19 vaccines. On Monday, pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer announced its vaccine candidate was more than 90 percent effective in preventing coronavirus infections.