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.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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