Biden announces White House COVID-19 Response team members

Jan. 15, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced additional members of the White House COVID-19 Response team, who will work to quickly implement a comprehensive, whole-of-government COVID-19 strategy to contain the pandemic, restore public trust, and protect all Americans.

The appointees will play integral roles in implementing and executing President Biden’s strategy to effectively and equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, while also increasing testing and taking other important steps that will be key to changing the course of the pandemic.

“We are in a race against time, and we need a comprehensive strategy to quickly contain this virus. The individuals announced today will bolster the White House’s COVID-19 Response team and play important roles in carrying out our rescue plan and vaccination program. At a time when American families are facing numerous challenges, I know these public servants will do all that is needed to build our nation back better,” said President-elect Joe Biden.

Biographies of the appointees in alphabetical order include:

·        Amy Chang, Policy Advisor Amy Chang joins from the COVID-19 team of the Biden-Harris Transition. She previously worked in the Obama-Biden administration, as a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

·         Abbe Gluck, Special Counsel Abbe R. Gluck is the Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law and Founding Faculty Director of the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School, and Professor of Medicine at Yale School of Medicine. Most recently, she has been assisting the COVID team on the Biden-Harris Transition.

·         David Kessler, Chief Science Officer of COVID Response David A. Kessler, M.D., who serves as a co-chair of the COVID-19 Task Force for President-elect Joe Biden, was the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from 1990 to 1997, under Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Dr. Kessler has served as chair of the boards of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). At EGPAF, Dr. Kessler helped spearhead a major global effort to make drugs available to millions to end the transmission of mother-to-child HIV-AIDS. A professor of pediatrics and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Kessler has also served as the dean of the medical schools at Yale and UCSF.

·         Rosa Po, COVID Response Team Deputy Chief of Staff Rosa Po serves as an Advisor to Domestic / Economic Agency Review on the Biden-Harris Transition and served on the Platform Team on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Previously, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar in the U.S. Senate and as Senator Klobuchar’s Policy Director and Senior Advisor during her presidential campaign. During the Obama-Biden administration, Po served as a Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

·         Andy Slavitt, Senior Advisor to the COVID Response Coordinator Andy Slavitt served as the Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under President Obama, overseeing the Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, value-based payment reform and the Health Insurance Marketplace. Prior to that, Slavitt helped lead the successful turnaround of Slavitt had been Board Chair of United States of Care, a national non-profit health think-tank and advocacy organization he founded to achieve full, sustainable access to health care for all American families.

·         Vidur Sharma, Policy Advisor for Testing Vidur Sharma served in the Obama-Biden White House as a health policy advisor on the Domestic Policy Council. In this role, Sharma supported the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, aligned Federal Department and Agencies, and collaborated with community stakeholders to further the administration’s health policy agenda.

·         Ben Wakana, Deputy Director of Strategic Communications & Engagement Ben Wakana serves as the COVID and Health Care Outreach lead on the Biden-Harris Transition. Prior to joining the transition, he was the Executive Director of Patients For Affordable Drugs, a nationwide non-profit focused on lowering prescription drug prices.

·         B. Cameron Webb, Senior Policy Advisor for COVID-19 Equity Dr. B. Cameron Webb currently serves as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences, and as Director of Health Policy and Equity at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. A general internist, Dr. Webb has worked clinically in the University’s COVID unit since the beginning of the pandemic.

Biden-Harris Transition has the release.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.