Biden Taps California AG Xavier Becerra As HHS Secretary, Harvard Infectious Disease Specialist Rochelle Walensky To Lead CDC

AP: Biden picks Calif. AG Becerra to lead HHS, pandemic response
“President-elect Joe Biden has picked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be his health secretary, putting a defender of the Affordable Care Act in a leading role to oversee his administration’s coronavirus response. Separately, Biden picked a Harvard infectious disease expert, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…” (Alonso-Zaldivar et al., 12/7).

Devex: Biden’s plan for global COVID-19 leadership to face early tests
“Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be a defining focus of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s approach to global health, development, and humanitarian engagement. While some features of the incoming administration’s international pandemic plans are clear — particularly those that serve as direct rebukes to President Donald Trump — there are still a number of open questions about how Biden’s White House will marshal resources, organize the U.S. government, and shape global health assistance for a world transformed by COVID-19…” (Igoe, 12/7).

POLITICO: To rebuild CDC, Biden picks Rochelle Walensky
“…[Rochelle] Walensky, who is also a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an expert on AIDS and HIV, will be tasked with rebuilding a critical health agency that has been sidelined by the Trump administration amid a pandemic. Walensky will replace Robert Redfield, who assumed the role of director in March 2018, and take a top role in helping the Biden administration curtail the coronavirus pandemic…” (Pager, 12/6).

USA TODAY: Meet Biden crisis manager Ron Klain, who will dive into the COVID-19 fight with Dr. Anthony Fauci
“…[Ron] Klain’s leadership on Ebola and his work with then-Vice President Joe Biden on the 2009 economic stimulus during the Great Recession were central to Biden’s selection of Klain as his incoming White House chief of staff. … Klain, 59, may be the most prepared White House chief of staff in recent times, especially for the twin health and economic crises facing the country…” (Groppe, 12/6).

Additional coverage of the Biden-Harris administration’s plans to address COVID-19 and the transition is available from CNN, The Hill (2), NBC, and Reuters.

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