Introducing the general public well being crew, Biden focuses on masks, colleges, and vaccines


© Reuters. US President Barack Obama sits next to Central Command Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin III during a briefing from senior military leaders during US Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa


By Simon Lewis

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden introduced the team that will lead his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, highlighting the coordination needed to achieve his goal of 100 million vaccinations in its first 100 days to be reached in office.

Speaking at a briefing in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said he needed Congress to fully fund the delivery of vaccines to every corner of the US. For the first 100 days, getting the kids back to school will be a national priority, Biden said.

“In 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better,” said Biden. “Whatever your policy or point of view, mask yourself for 100 days.”

The coronavirus has killed more than 283,000 Americans and caused millions to lose their jobs.

Effective vaccines would help the Biden administration focus on healing the troubled US economy. There was more positive news on Tuesday in the form of documents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration showing that the regulator has not raised any new questions Pfizer Safety or effectiveness of the vaccine from Inc (NYSE :).

“My first 100 days won’t end the COVID-19 virus. I can’t promise that,” said Biden, who will take office on January 20. “But we didn’t get into this chaos quickly. We won’t go.” to get out quickly. It will take some time. “

Biden introduced California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former Latino congressman, as his candidate for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Becerra has a long history of supporting the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Biden chose Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, as director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, has been appointed medical advisor to Biden for the virus and Dr. Vivek Murthy Appointed Surgeon General to reaffirm his role in the Obama administration.

Biden’s transition team also announced their election as Secretary of Defense, retired Army General Lloyd Austin, though some Democrats in Congress were unhappy with the idea of ​​a former military man to run the Pentagon.

“Secretary-designate Austin is a highly experienced and highly decorated commanding officer who has served with honors in several of the most important positions in the Pentagon,” the team said in a statement.

Austin, 67, a former head of US Central Command who oversaw the armed forces in the Middle East under President Barack Obama, would be the first Black American Secretary of Defense if the Senate approves him.

To confirm Austin, Congress would have to approve a waiver as he has only been out of the military for four years, less than the seven years required by law. Trump’s first secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, needed a waiver that is rarely applied.

Several Democratic senators, including Richard Blumenthal, Jack Reed, and Jon Tester, said they would likely speak out against a waiver and doubt that Austin’s nomination will pass a narrowly divided Senate.


Biden selected Jeff Zients, a business advisor known for his leadership skills, as the coronavirus “Tsar”. Zients will oversee the pandemic response, including the distribution of the vaccine.

“Help is on the way,” added Vice President-elect Kamala Harris after the new members of Biden’s health team introduced themselves. “And it’s long overdue.”

Democrat Biden defeated Republican President Donald Trump in the November 3rd election.

Trump, who has made unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud, receives help from Texas to try to overturn the results of a lawsuit in the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is not required to hear the case.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday by Republican-ruled Texas, election officials in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were accused of failing to protect the mail-in vote from fraud during the pandemic.

State officials said they found no evidence of such a scam that would alter the results.

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