US President-elect Joe Biden has selected two former Obama administration officials for senior roles to help fight COVID-19, including the appointment of Jeff Zients as White House coronavirus coordinator, Politico reported on Thursday.
Biden adviser Vivek Murthy will return to his role as Surgeon General but with a broader portfolio as the pandemic rages through the country, Politico said, citing two people familiar with the decision.
Dealing with the virus that has killed more than 274,000 Americans as well as the economic fallout from the crisis is one of Biden’s top priorities once he takes office on Jan. 20.
Politico also said Marcella Nunez-Smith, a co-chair of Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, will play a key role in the incoming administration’s pandemic response, focused on disparities.
Current White House coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci, the top US government infectious diseases expert, was scheduled to have his first substantive talks with the new administration on Thursday.
Fauci told the media he expected to have a comprehensive discussion with members of Biden’s team working to establish priorities and ensure a smooth transition on Inauguration Day.