Today, President Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris announced the creation of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, a team of leading public health experts who will inform Biden and Harris, and the Transition’s COVID-19 staff, about matters relating to the coronavirus, according to a press release. The Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board will be overseen by co-chairs Dr. David Kessler, Dr. Vivek Murthy, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. Dr. Beth Cameron and Dr. Rebecca Katz will serve as advisors to the Transition on COVID-19 and will work closely with the Advisory Board, the release added.
“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” said President-elect Biden in the release. “The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also released a statement after Pfizer announced that an early analysis proved that their COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective. This comes on the heels of President-Elect Joe Biden’s announcement of his 12-person COVID-19 Response Team including health experts nationwide.
“This is great news for our families, our frontline workers, and our small business owners,” Whitmer said in the statement. “Michigan has always been on the forefront of innovation, and I am proud to see that Pfizer, a Michigan business and one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the world, will produce the vaccine in our great state.”
New cases are rising in at least 40 states, with more than 9.3 million total infections and more than 236,000 deaths, it added. President-elect Biden has dedicated a significant part of his leadership to fixing the COVID pandemic, which continues to take thousands of lives each week, by curbing the spread of the disease, providing free treatment to those in need, and “elevating the voices” of scientists and public health experts, the release added. The COVID-19 Advisory Board will also help direct the Biden-Harris Transition in planning for Biden’s federal response. These leading scientists and public health experts will meet with state and local officials to determine the public health and economic steps necessary to control the virus, deliver “immediate relief” to working families, to address ongoing racial and ethnic disparities, and to reopen our schools and businesses safely and effectively, the release added.
Whitmer said that people must remember that when the vaccine is ready, it will take time to distribute.
“And we need everyone to continue doing their part to protect each other from COVID-19. That’s why it’s so important that President-Elect Biden has announced a team of medical experts to lead our country’s COVID-19 response. It is crucial that leaders across the country listen to science and the recommendations of health experts, and President-Elect Biden has made it clear that he shares that commitment,”. I look forward to working closely with him and medical experts everywhere to fight this virus and save lives.”