Politics, Policy & Law
Biden sticks with science, public health expertise for COVID-19 advisory board
President-Elect Joe Biden has weighted his COVID-19 advisory board heavily on the side of public health, with almost all the 13-member team having some background in the field, and all but three with prior government experience.
The Biden-Harris Transition team announced Monday the formation of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, which will likely serve as Biden’s coronavirus task force come Jan. 20.
The board consists of three co-chairs and 10 public health, infectious disease and policy experts. The team has made no statement as to whether there will be any continuity from President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, though longstanding National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) director, Anthony Fauci, is an obvious candidate to remain involved in the national response.
Biden’s advisory board is co-chaired by David Kessler, who served as FDA commissioner under the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations; Vivek Murthy, who served as the 19th surgeon general; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor at Yale University whose research focuses on healthcare equity.
Nunez-Smith is founding director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) at Yale School of Medicine and her experience will likely help address racial and minority ethnic group disparities in COVID-19 outcomes.
Whistleblower Rick Bright is a member of the board. He was director of BARDA in 2016-20 but was fired in April after he refused to fund COVID-19 projects that had strong political backing but lacked scientific merit.