By William Adeyemi
United State president-
Elect, Joe Biden has said himself and his team team have had one thing top of their mind these past few weeks which has been figuring out how to solve the coronavirus pandemic and make sure every American had access to quality, affordable health care.
According to him, “When Kamala and I are sworn in on January 20th, our first and most pressing task will be to combat this pandemic and ensure the safety of Americans across the country.
That’s why it gives me great honour to introduce my health care team to you, because I’m confident they’re up to the challenge ahead:
as Secretary of Health and Human Services
The Attorney General of California, long-time champion of expanding access to health care, and former member of Congress who helped drive passage of the Affordable Care Act, Becerra led the defense of the law in the Supreme Court last month. If confirmed, Becerra will be the first Latino to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. I’m honored to have his leadership and vision at the core of our team.
DR. VIVEK MURTHY
as Surgeon General of the United States
A distinguished physician, research scientist, and former Vice Admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy was previously confirmed by the Senate to serve in the same capacity, holding the post as ‘America’s Doctor’ between 2014 and 2017. A trusted national voice on health issues and one of my long-time advisors, he currently serves as co-chair of my COVID-19 transition Advisory Board. I’m excited to welcome Dr. Murthy back to this position.
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY
as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A leading expert on virus testing, prevention, and treatment, Dr. Walensky has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response in Massachusetts, serving as Chief of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. I’m proud to have her on our team.
DR. MARCELLA NUNEZ-SMITH
as COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair
One of the country’s foremost experts on health care disparities and an Associate Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Management at the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Nunez-Smith is the founding director of Yale’s Equity Research and Innovation Center and co-chair of my COVID-19 Transition Advisory Board. Dr. Nunez-Smith will advise on a whole-of-government effort to reduce COVID-19 disparities in response, care, and treatment, including racial and ethnic disparities. There is no one more qualified than Dr. Nunez-Smith to take on this important task.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI
as Chief Medical Adviser on COVID-19 to the President and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Dr. Fauci has been of the most trusted figures in the country throughout the pandemic and for decades prior and will remain an essential voice both in informing the public about health risks and safety measures and in helping the scientific community, the Biden-Harris administration, and local officials overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Fauci has the experience needed to get things done.
as Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President
Zients is an accomplished public servant widely known for his extraordinary track record of successfully managing large and complex initiatives. He previously earned broad acclaim for his leadership of the 2013 HealthCare.gov tech surge and his oversight of the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ fuel-efficiency program. Zients will advise my team on the implementation of the federal government’s COVID response, including managing safe and equitable vaccine distribution, the pandemic supply chain, and coordination across federal agencies and state and local governments. I’m excited to tap him for this essential role.
as Deputy Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response
Quillian, a national security expert and former White House and Pentagon senior advisor, played an instrumental role in coordinating the Obama-Biden administration’s interagency response to the opioid epidemic. “I’m excited to welcome her back in this new role”, the President-elect explained.
He said the team included leaders with deep experience in public health, government, and crisis management and experts in their fields who would restore public trust in the pandemic response by leading with facts, science, integrity, and a laser-focus on bringing COVID-19 under control.
“I promise you this: our health care team 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. They are well equipped to rally the country and restore the belief that there is nothing beyond America’s capacity if we do it together”, Biden assured.