President-elect Biden’s transition team unveiled the members of his Covid-19 task force on Monday, a team of former government health officials, academics, and major figures in medicine.
The list includes Rick Bright, the former head of the vaccine-development agency BARDA ousted by the Trump administration in April; Atul Gawande, the surgeon, writer, and recently departed CEO of Haven, the joint JP Morgan Chase-Berkshire Hathaway-Amazon health care venture; and Luciana Borio, a former Food and Drug Administration official, and biodefense specialist.
He called on Americans to separate politics from the virus and embrace mask-wearing.
“We could save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months. Not Democratic or Republican lives, American lives,” Biden said. “Please, I implore you, wear a mask.”
“The challenge before us right now is still immense and growing, and so is the need for bold action to fight this pandemic,” Biden said after being briefed on the virus. “We are still facing a dark winter.”
President-elect Biden believes that the federal government must act swiftly and aggressively to help protect and support our families, small businesses, first responders, and caregivers essential to help us face this challenge, those who are most vulnerable to health and economic impacts, and our broader communities – not to blame others or bail out corporations.
The Biden-Harris administration will always listen to science, ensure public health decisions are informed by public health professionals, promote trust, transparency, common purpose, and accountability in government
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have a seven-point plan to beat COVID-19.
The plan is to ensure all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing. Double the number of drive-through testing sites. Invest in next-generation testing, including at-home tests and instant tests, to scale up the testing capacity by orders of magnitude. Stand up a Pandemic Testing Board like Roosevelt’s War Production Board. To produce supplies in record time, and tens of millions of tests. Establish a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps to mobilize at least 100,000 Americans across the country with support from trusted local organizations in communities most at risk to perform culturally competent approaches to contact tracing and protecting at-risk populations.
Biden will implement mask mandates nationwide by working with governors and mayors and by asking the American people to do what they do best: step up in a time of crisis.