President-Elect Biden Taps Former Ebola Czar Ron Klain As Chief Of Staff, Forms Whole-Of-Government Special COVID-19 Transition Team

AP: World leaders talking to Biden about the virus, other issues
“World leaders spoke to President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday about cooperating on the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other issues, even as President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede complicates the U.S. post-election transition…” (Kim et al., 11/12).

New York Times: The Surging Coronavirus Finds a Federal Leadership Vacuum
“…[A]s the country enters what may be the most intense stage of the pandemic yet, the Trump administration remains largely disengaged. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is trying to assume a leadership mantle, with the appointment of a coronavirus advisory board and a call for all Americans to wear masks, but until his inauguration on Jan. 20, he lacks the authority to mobilize a federal response. … Washington’s leadership void is raising anxiety in states and cities…” (Stolberg et al., 11/11).

POLITICO: Biden forms special Covid transition team
“President-elect Joe Biden has formed a special transition team dedicated to coordinating the coronavirus response across the government, according to documents obtained by POLITICO and people familiar with the decision. The group consists of dozens of transition officials and cuts across a slew of federal agencies, in a sign of the comprehensive approach that Biden is planning to take toward combating the worsening pandemic…” (Cancryn, 11/11).

STAT: With Ron Klain, Biden picks a pandemic-response veteran for chief of staff
“President-elect Biden’s selection on Wednesday of Ron Klain, the former federal ‘Ebola czar,’ as White House chief of staff immediately put a pandemic-response veteran at the highest levels of government. The choice of Klain, a longtime Biden confidant who served as chief of staff to then-Vice President Biden during the Obama administration, is the latest signal that the president-elect is treating the pandemic as his top priority…” (Facher, 11/12).

Additional coverage of President-elect Biden’s actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic and other global issues is available from Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, NBC News, Reuters, and The Telegraph.

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.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.