As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, he announced a new COVID-19 task force as he plans to make coronavirus a priority.
Among those hired for the newly formed advisory board include Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, serving as co-chair. She works as a professor at Yale and advisor to Connecticut’s state response to coronavirus.
According to her official bio provided by Yale, Dr. Nunez-Smith is an Associate Professor at the Yale Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Deputy Director for Health Equity Research and Workforce Development for the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, Core Faculty in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, and Research Faculty at Yale’s Global Health Leadership Institute. She earned a BA from Swarthmore College, an MD from Jefferson Medical College, and an MHS from Yale University.
theGrio reported Biden announced the team of health professionals enlisted to assist in the battle against the pandemic on Monday. The board also included Rick Bright, a vaccine specialist and former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Notably, Bright filed a whistleblower complaint, claiming he was reassigned to a lesser position because he resisted pressure to encourage widespread use of hydroxychloroquine pushed by President Donald Trump as a COVID-19 treatment.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont shared his approval of the appointment of Dr. Nunez-Smith and Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel to Biden’s task force on Twitter. Zeke also served as a special adviser for health policy in the Obama administration.
“Pleased to see that members of CT’s COVID science team are recognized around the country,” he wrote.
Dr. Luciana Borio, who held senior leadership positions at the FDA and National Security Council during the Barack Obama and Trump administrations, Dr. Atul Gawande, a senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Bill Clinton administration, Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist who served as an adviser to the Health and Human Secretary under the George W. Bush administration all join the taskforce.
Former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler are also listed on Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, leading alongside Dr. Nunez-Smith.
theGrio reported Biden has monitored COVID-19 vaccine progress and is hopeful but still remains adamant that the country must wear protective masks to stop the spread of the virus.
“Even if that is achieved, and some Americans are vaccinated later this year, it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country,” Biden said.