WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team announced a new 12-member Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board on Monday morning, the first step in his administration’s promise to tackle the deadly pandemic which has killed over 200,000 Americans.
Biden’s coronavirus advisory board includes Rick Bright, who was fired by the Trump administration after he allegedly claimed warnings about the pandemic were ignored by President Donald Trump. The addition of Bright is a signal of the difference Biden will take when dealing with the pandemic.
“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. “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.”
The task force is chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler and Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.
Other members on the board include Dr. Luciana Borio, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Dr. Zeke Emanuel, oncologist and Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
Biden along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive a briefing from the transition coronavirus advisory board on Monday afternoon before Biden delivers remarks on his plans to deal with the virus and to rebuild the American economy.
Since the start of the pandemic, Biden has repeatedly said on the campaign trail if he was elected, he would listen to the advice from scientists and public health experts about the pandemic. In his victory speech on Saturday, he said his plan to combat the virus would be done with empathy and care.
That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern,” he said. “I will spare no effort — or commitment — to turn this pandemic around.”
Biden’s attention to detail may resemble when he and former President Barack Obama first took office 12 years ago in the middle of the economic crisis. Starting now, Biden’s plan is to stop the pandemic from worsening before he is sworn into office in January.
The news comes as country nears 10 million cases with over 9.9 million reported cases as of Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The virus is in the beginning of a second wave with new cases are rising in at least 40 states.