President-elect Biden announces COVID-19 task force

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The Biden-Harris Transition team announced earlier today the formation of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, a team of leading public health experts who will advise President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and the Transition’s COVID-19 staff, in navigating the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a statement.

The Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board will be led by co-chairs David Kessler, MD, Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, and Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS. Beth Cameron, PhD, and Rebecca Katz, MS, are serving as advisors and will work closely with the advisory board, the statement said. Members include Luciana Borio, MD, Rick Bright, PhD, Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, Celine Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA, Julie Morita, MD, Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, Loyce Pace, MPH, Robert Rodriguez, MD, and Eric Goosby, MD.

New cases are rising in at least 40 states, with more than 9.3 million total infections and more than 236,000 deaths, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. President-elect Biden has pledged to bring leadership to the COVID-19 pandemic by curbing the spread of the disease, providing free treatment to those in need, and elevating the voices of scientists and public health experts.

The COVID-19 Advisory Board will help guide the Biden-Harris Transition in planning for the President-elect’s federal response, according to the statement. Comprised of leading scientists and public health experts, the team will consult with state and local officials to determine the public health and economic steps necessary to get the virus under control, to deliver immediate relief to working families, to address ongoing racial and ethnic disparities, and to reopen schools and businesses safely and effectively. 

“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,” said President-elect Biden in the statement. “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.”

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