Fired by Trump, hired by Biden: The parallel Covid-19 task force is born

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Bureaucrats dumped by President Donald Trump are America’s hot hires on the first Monday after President-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris belted out their victory speeches.

Two such notables will lead Biden’s 10-member coronavirus task force – the first big item on the transition team’s checklist.

Topping the fired-by-Trump list is Indian American Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former US Surgeon General chucked out within four months of the Trump takeover in 2017.

Another notable is Dr. Rick Bright, a vaccine expert who filed a whistleblower complaint after being sidelined for his pushback against Trump’s unfounded claims around hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug.

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

Other than Murthy and Bright, Biden’s task force features many outspoken Trump critics who have been wringing their hands for months over America’s ongoing public health catastrophe: Dr. Atul Gawande, a renowned surgeon and author; Dr. Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist; Luciana Borio, a biodefence specialist; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist at the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Celine Gounder; Dr. Julie Morita, a paediatric specialist; Loyce Pace, a global health maven; Dr. Robert Rodriguez, an emergency medicine specialist and Dr. Eric Goosby, an infectious disease expert with expertise in AIDS/HIV. “Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in a statement on Monday.