The transition team around President-elect Joseph Biden is putting together a team of experts who will be responsible for US policy vis-a-vis the Covid-19 epidemic. On Monday, November 9, Biden named some of the key names.
Dr. Rick Bright, formerly of Emory University’ Department of Microbiology and Immunology, is on the list. This is a turnaround for Dr. Bright: he was director of a federal body, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA) through most of the Trump administration. In April 2020 he was re-assigned, in effect demoted. He filed a whistle-blower complaint on the ground that he had been demoted for having made “protected disclosures” to the public about the Coronavirus. Bright says that he has been given “no meaningful work” at his subsequent assignment.
The Biden panel also includes Dr. Eric Goosby, of the University of California, San Francisco, who was the director of the largest federally-funded HIV/AIDS program during the Clinton years.
The panel will be co-chaired by Drs David Kessler and Vivek Murthy. Kessler is a former FDA commissioner; Murthy a former surgeon general.
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The Biden team made this list public on the same day that pharma giant Pfizer announced it has vaccine data showing that its shots may be 90% effective against the virus. Although the Pfizer announcement is good news, in the short term the best weapons against this disease for most of the human race will remain distancing and masks.