Joe Biden names coronavirus advisory board, includes experts and Rick Bright, who feuded with Trump
Presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden on Monday announced a 13-member team of former federal officials and infectious-disease experts to help him tackle the coronavirus, including Rick Bright, whose tenure in the Trump administration ended in a whistleblower complaint and bitter feuding.
Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will co-chair the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board with David Kessler, who led the Food and Drug Administration in the 1990s, and Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale expert whose research focuses on assisting marginalized populations.
Other prominent doctors on the panel, such as Atul Gawande and Ezekiel Emanuel, served in previous Democratic administrations.
“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,” Mr. Biden said. “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.”
Mr. Biden says the pandemic and associated economic problems will be his top task, as the nation confronts a rising death toll and over 100,000 newly reported infections per day on the cusp of winter, when respiratory diseases tend to thrive.
Mr. Biden is scheduled to receive a briefing on the pandemic Monday and offer remarks.
Mr. Bright’s appointment to his advisory board is notable. He directed the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) from 2016 to 2020 but was transferred out of the agency and filed a whistleblower complaint alleging the Trump administration did not take the pandemic seriously enough in the early days.
Mr. Biden also named: Luciana Borio, a senior fellow for health at the Council on Foreign Relations; Celine Grounder, clinical assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine; Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota; Loyce Pace, executive director and president of the Global Health Council; Robert Rodriguez, professor of emergency medicine at the University of California — San Francisco School of Medicine; and Eric Goosby, an expert in infectious diseases at UCSF School of Medicine.