As coronavirus records are smashed across the US, Joe Biden isn't wasting any time in starting to address "one of the most important battles our administration will face." On Monday morning, the president-elect announced a 13-member Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board to "help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations," per an emailed statement from Biden cited by Axios. Three co-chairs will helm the panel: Vivek Murthy, the former surgeon general; ex-FDA Commissioner David Kessler; and Yale University's Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. "I will be informed by science and by experts," Biden said in his release.
Axios notes the "wealth of experience" on the panel, which will inform Biden's team on how to tackle the COVID-19 problem once he takes office. Other members on the board include vaccine expert Dr. Rick Bright, the whistleblower who said he was forced to resign in October from a high-ranking Health and Human Services position because he refused to flood the New York area with hydroxychloroquine; infectious diseases expert Eric Goosby, who served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations; and Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. ABC News reports Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive a briefing from the board Monday. Biden's plan to go after COVID-19 includes increased testing and contact tracing, more investment in vaccines and treatment, possible mask mandates, more PPE, and rejoining the World Health Organization, per CNN. Check out who else is on the panel. (Read more President-elect Biden stories.)