covid-19 task force

Whistleblower, Surgeon General Fired by Trump Headline Biden's Coronavirus Task Force

The co-chairs are former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale University professor and researcher.

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A whistleblower ousted after criticizing the federal government’s response to the coronavirus and a former U.S. Surgeon General fired by Trump headline the new coronavirus task force revealed Monday by President-elect Joe Biden.

On the same morning Pfizer revealed early data on its coronavirus vaccine that suggests it may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, Biden revealed the team he'll lean on to stem the rising tide of COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 Task Force Members

  • Dr. Rick Bright. Immunologist, virologist. Ousted as head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority after criticizing the federal government’s response to the coronavirus under President Donald Trump. Bright filed a whistleblower complaint alleging he was reassigned to a lesser job because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug Trump pushed as a COVID-19 treatment.
  • Dr. Vivek Murthy, co-chair. U.S. surgeon general from 2014-17, who commanded public health force that dealt with Ebola, Zika and Flint water crisis. On April 21, 2017, Murthy was relieved of his duties by the newly elected President Trump.
  • Dr. David Kessler, co-chair. Professor of pediatrics and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner from 1990 to 1997.
  • Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, co-chair. Associate professor of internal medicine, public health and management at Yale University and associate dean for health equity research at Yale's medical school specializing in health care for marginalized populations.
  • Dr. Luciana Borio. Vice president of technical staff at the In-Q-Tel strategic investment firm who until last year was a biodefense specialist on the National Security Council.
  • Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Oncologist and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania who since 1997 has served as chair of the Department of Bioethics at The Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Dr. Atul Gawande. Professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Harvard Medical School who served as a senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration.
  • Dr. Celine Gounder. Clinical assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine who served as assistant commissioner and director of the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control at New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
  • Dr. Julie Morita. Executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who helped lead Chicago's Department of Public Health for nearly 20 years.
  • Dr. Michael Osterholm. Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, former science envoy for health security for the State Department.
  • Ms. Loyce Pace. Executive director and president of the Global Health Council, who previously served in leadership positions at the American Cancer Society.
  • Dr. Robert Rodriguez. Professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Eric Goosby. Infectious disease expert and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine who during the Clinton administration was the founding director of the largest federally funded HIV/AIDS program.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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