Health: Three New Additions to Biden’s Covid Team

The Story:

President-elect Joseph Biden announced three new coordinators for his Covid-19 response team on Tuesday, December 29. This statement came amid continuing uncertainties about whether and to what extent the outgoing administration is cooperating with the incoming group, on this subject or others.

Three Names: 

Biden announced that Bechara Choucair, Carole Johnson, and Tim Manning will all play critical roles in coordinating policy on testing and vaccine distribution.

Of these three, the one that might come as somewhat unhappy news to people on Biden’s left, his party’s “progressives,” is Choucair, who comes from corporate America. Choucair has been Chief Health Officer for Kaiser Permanente, which is a consortium of both non-profit and for-profit entities.

On the other hand, Choucair is a family physician by training, and before the job at Kaiser he was the public health commissioner for the City of Chicago (2009-2014). Those qualifications might assist Biden in quelling intra-party discontent.

In Pill Form:

The Trump administration had set a target of vaccinating 20 million Americans by the end of 2020. The actual vaccinations were far fewer.  The President-elect has said that “the effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should.” These new three named coordinators are to be at the heart of the incoming administration’s efforts to correct that situation.

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