- The Washington Times
Monday, December 7, 2020

Presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden moved to fill out top health roles in the incoming administration Monday, formally announcing California Attorney General Xavier Bacerra as his pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, among other key positions.

Mr. Becerra, a former congressman, was an aggressive defender of Obamacare and has been a top legal antagonist of President Trump’s administration in his current role as California’s chief law enforcement officer.

Mr. Biden also tapped Dr. Vivek Murthy as his pick to be the next U.S. surgeon general. Dr. Murthy, a co-chair of Mr. Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, would reprise the role he held during the Obama administration.

Mr. Biden picked Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School, to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

He named Jeff Zients, a co-chair of Mr. Biden’s transition team, as coordinator of the federal government’s COVID-19 response and a counselor to the president. Mr. Zients, a top official in the Obama administration, was tasked with cleaning up the mess following the 2013 Obamacare website crash, among his other roles.

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a co-chair of Mr. Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, will chair a COVID-19 Equity Task Force. Dr. Nunez-Smith is an associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine.

Natalie Quillian will be deputy coordinator of the COVID-19 response. She helped coordinate the federal response to the opioid epidemic during the Obama administration, among other roles.Mr. Biden also formally named Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as a chief medical adviser on COVID-19. Mr. Biden announced that pick last week.

Dr. Fauci, one of the public faces of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, will also continue on in his current role at NIAID.

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