Biden Picks Ex-FDA Chief Kessler as Top Science Officer for COVID-19 Response, Transition Team Says

© REUTERS / CARLO ALLEGRIA worker of the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (FDNY EMS) receives a COVID-19 Moderna vaccine, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 23, 2020
A worker of the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (FDNY EMS) receives a COVID-19 Moderna vaccine, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 23, 2020 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President-elect Joe Biden has selected David Kessler, who ran the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as his chief science officer of COVID-19 response to oversee vaccine safety and production, the Biden-Harris transition team said in a press release on Friday.

"David Kessler who serves as a co-chair of the COVID-19 Task Force for President-elect Joe Biden, was the Commissioner of the FDA from 1990 to 1997, under Presidents George H W Bush and Bill Clinton. ... (He) has also served as the dean of the medical schools at Yale and UCSF [University of California, San Francisco]," the release said.

Biden also named Amy Chang as policy adviser on the COVID-19 response, Yale Professor of Law Abbe Gluck as special counsel for the response team and Rosa Po, a previous policy adviser to Senator Amy Klobuchar as deputy chief of staff of the group, the transition team said.

The COVID-19 Response Team will also include Andy Slavitt who ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama as senior adviser to the COVID Response Coordinator and former Obama health policy adviser Vidur Sharma as policy adviser for testing, the team said.

Biden also named Ben Wakana as deputy director of strategic communications and B. Cameron Webb as a senior policy adviser on the COVID-19 Response Team, the release added.

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