President-Elect Joe Biden announced his 12-member coronavirus task force who will advise him during the transition before his Jan. 20 inauguration.
In a speech Monday, the next president of the United States announced the group of public health experts that will make up his coronavirus advisory board.
According to CNN, the 12-member group is chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and includes former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler, Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Dr. Luciana Borio, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and Dr. Zeke Emanuel, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act and an ex-Obama health adviser.
The group also includes Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Bright filed a whistleblower complaint in June against the Trump administration alleging his early warnings about the pandemic were ignored and ultimately led to his removal.
The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 10 million Americans and killed more than 230,000 residents in the country since February and decimated the U.S. economy forcing millions to work from home and even more into unemployment.
Both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris met with the task force Monday to discuss the next steps before Biden’s campaign takes over for President Trump who has continued to urge Americans not to be afraid of the coronavirus as he tries to get Americans to get back to work and reopen the economy, even as numbers continue to climb and lockdown restrictions have restarted abroad and in the U.S.
In Philadelphia, health officials are urging those who celebrated Biden’s win to quarantine themselves and in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday the city is ‘dangerously close’ to a second wave and new restrictions.
Biden also urged Americans to wear a face mask Monday, saying that doing so “is not a political statement,” but the best way to save lives, before a vaccine is created and released.
“The goal of mask-wearing is not to make your life less comfortable or take something away from you. It’s to give something back to all of us: a normal life,” Biden told reporters. “The goal is to get back to normal as fast as possible, and masks are critical to doing that. It won’t be forever.”