President-Elect Joe Biden Reveals Health Team That Will Lead Future Pandemic Response

Biden’s Covid-19 response team will include Dr. Anthony Fauci as chief medical adviser and a slew of other individuals who have been closely monitoring the pandemic.

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Joe Biden and his administration made the announcement this Monday that they had decided on the team that would be guiding the nation in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic once Biden takes office in January. His transitional team so far has included California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Vivek Murthy as his nominee for US surgeon general, Dr. Rochelle Walensky as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith as the chair of his Covid-19 equity task force.

As previously mentioned Dr. Anthony Fauci will be taking on the role of chief medical adviser while continuing out his role as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Jeff Zients will serve as a coordinator for the administration’s Covid-19 response, as well as a counselor to both Biden and Natalie Quillan; deputy coordinator for Covid-19 response. Both Zients and Quillan were former administration officials working under President Barack Obama, so this is not their first time working alongside Biden either. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has now killed more than 280,000 Americans as of Monday morning. Many businesses and schools across the country are beginning another round of shut downs to help curb the spread, but they really need the federal government to implement stricter procedures to help minimize the spread of this deadly virus. Biden is expected to hold an official conference event this Tuesday to introduce his health team officially and begin to break down what the first few weeks of his presidency will look like in terms of pandemic response. He also spoke with the press recently about his confidence in this team of individuals. 

“This team of leaders will bring the highest level of integrity, scientific rigor, and crisis-management experience to one of the toughest challenges America has ever faced.”

Biden continued on in his statement to encourage the American people that this was a solid “team of world-class medical experts and public servants who will be ready on day one to mobilize every resource of the federal government to expand testing and masking, oversee the safe, equitable, and free distribution of treatments and vaccines, re-open schools and businesses safely, lower prescription drug and other health costs and expand affordable health care to all Americans, and rally the country and restore the belief that there is nothing beyond America’s capacity if we do it together.” 

Dr. Fauci also recently spoke with CNN regarding all the other members of Biden’s health team, in which he stated that he’s worked with each individual in the past already and that Biden had made some “excellent choices. Obviously this is an enormous challenge that we’re all going to be facing throughout the country, as we emerge into and from the winter months, so there’s going to be a lot of activity both from a fundamental science standpoint — vaccines, therapies, understanding the disease better — as well as the public health response,” he explained. 

Fauci continued to explain that his upcoming role under Biden won’t be that different from the work he’s been doing under the Trump administration, however, he expects his work to be taken a lot more seriously, and for things like daily Covid-19 updates for the entire nation to be reinstated to keep the people as informed as the administration is. 

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“This team will be working on getting the pandemic under control so that the American people can get back to work, back to their lives, and back to their loved ones.”

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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will be the first Latino individual to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services. He’s served 12 terms in Congress as a member of the House of representatives and has also held several different leadership positions. Some of these positions included the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the ranking member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security. 

Dr. Vivek Murthy served as the US surgeon general during the Obama administration from 2014 to 2017. If confirmed by the Senate he would be reprising his role; Murthy helped the Obama administration manage both the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, as well as other health challenges the US has faced. Murthy himself is a doctor of internal medicine and has been acting as the top health adviser for the Biden administration throughout his entire 2020 campaign. 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is also a physician and chief of the infectious disease division at Massachusetts General Hospital. She currently serves as a chair of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council and is also a member of the US Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith is currently a co-chair of Biden’s transition team, and is also an associate professor of medicine, public health, and management and associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine. 

Zients and Quillian are both former workers for the Obama Administration who helped manage other public health crises in America. Zients is specifically credited with reviving the Obamacare enrollment website which helped a slew of individuals receive access to health insurance after he was finished with it. Quillian also has served national Security positions in the past, both individuals do not need Senate confirmation to reprise their roles either. Once Biden makes his announcement and the Senate confirms these names, the president-elect and his transitional team will begin implementing the many policies that will hopefully get America back on track to normalcy.