Here’s what you need to know about Biden’s COVID Policy Team
Nov 8, 2020
STAT NEWS — President-elect Joe Biden has turned to three prominent physicians to lead his coronavirus task force who have collectively signaled that they will approach the pandemic far differently than the Trump administration, which they have criticized for mixing politics with science.
A top Biden aide on Sunday announced the two co-chairs of the incoming administration’s task force: Vivek Murthy, the former U.S. surgeon general, and David Kessler, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
Though the Biden campaign did not formally announce her inclusion on Sunday, Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale physician and professor whose research focuses on health disparities, is widely expected to serve as the task force’s third co-chair.
Both Murthy and Kessler are widely known in public health and science for their stints in different presidential administrations. Kessler was appointed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, and served into the second term of President Clinton.
He left the agency in 1997 to become the dean of the Yale School of Medicine. Murthy, himself a Yale medical school graduate, was appointed U.S. surgeon general under President Obama in 2014 … Read more.
Vivek H. Murthy, surgeon general during the Obama administration:
- Murthy completed his Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
- In 2011, he was appointed by Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- In 2013, Murthy was nominated by Obama for Surgeon General of the United States. His nomination met resistance in the Senate by the National Rifle Association regarding comments Murthy made declaring gun violence as a threat to public health.
- He is president of Doctors for America, a group of physicians and medical students supporting socialized medicine.
- Murthy is co-founder of TrialNetworks, a cloud-based system designed to speed clinical trials to bring new drugs to market faster. Source: Wikipedia
David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner under George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton:
- Kessler is a pediatrician, lawyer, and administrator (both academic and governmental). Kessler studied medicine at Harvard University, graduating with an M.D. degree in 1979.
- He was the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from 1990 to 1997.
- Kessler left the FDA to join the Yale School of Medicine as dean from 1997 to 2003.
- From 2003 to 2007, he was dean and vice-chancellor at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School.
- Since that time, Kessler appears to have been primarily engaged as an author and speaker. Source.
Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine:
- She is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Yale School of Medicine.
- She describes her studies as focused on “health and healthcare equity for marginalized communities.”
- She is also the Founding Director at Equity Research and Innovation Center, Director of the Center for Research Engagement, and Deputy Director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. Source.
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