Biden reveals the 13 members of his COVID-19 advisory board, cochaired by a former surgeon general, a former FDA commissioner, and a Yale professor

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President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday in Wilmington. Associated Press/Andrew Harnik
  • President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced Monday the public-health experts making up their COVID-19 advisory board.
  • The panel will comprise 13 members, cochaired by Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general, Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine at Yale University, and David Kessler, the former FDA commissioner.
  • Biden said in a statement that the COVID-19 advisory board “will help shape my approach” to managing the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Rick Bright, a former Trump administration official who criticised the country’s approach to the pandemic, is also on the board.
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President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced Monday the 13 members of their COVID-19 advisory board, made up entirely of prominent-health experts.

The panel will be led by three chairs: Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general; Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine at Yale University; and David Kessler, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner.

“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,” Biden said in a statement.

“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.”

Prominent doctors listed on the transition advisory board include Rick Bright, a former Trump administration official, who spoke out against the administration’s approach to the pandemic after being fired.

Others on the board:

  • Dr. Michael Osterholm, former science envoy for health security on behalf of the State Department.
  • Dr. Atul Gawande, former senior advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration.
  • Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former special advisor to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget during the Obama Administration.
  • Dr. Celine Gounder, a medical doctor who specialises in infectious disease and global health at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Luciana Borio, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Dr. Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
  • Loyce Pace, president and executive director of the Global Health Council.
  • Dr. Robert Rodriguez, Professor of Emergency Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Eric Goosby, expert on infectious diseases and Professor of Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.

The statement said that Dr. Beth Cameron and Dr. Rebecca Katz will serve as advisors on COVID-19 and will work closely with the advisory board.


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Biden announced that he would be forming the panel in his first address to the nation as president-elect Saturday.

The board members will work with state and local officials in the US to draw up public health and economic policies to address the coronavirus, while also working to reopen schools and businesses, Biden’s transition team said Monday.

The coronavirus has killed more than 238,000 people in the US, and infected more than 10.1 million. On Sunday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed 50 million.

On Friday, the US recorded nearly 126,000 new daily COVID-19 cases, breaking its previous daily case record for the third day in a row.