December 18, 2020
The Biden Transition Update
President-elect Joe Biden has announced many of his nominees to lead federal agencies, including many relevant to public health. Here are some of the President-elect’s top choices to lead:
- Health and Human Services: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D)
Appointing an Attorney General is unorthodox for this position, causing concern for some health policy experts who would rather have a leader with expertise in medicine during the pandemic. However, Becerra has political experience related to health policy, perhaps most notably his recent legal defense of the ACA.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Dr. Rochelle Walensky
Dr. Walensky is an infectious disease expert currently serving at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
- Surgeon General: Dr. Vivek Murthy
Dr. Murthy currently leads President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 advisory task force and previously served as Surgeon General under President Obama.
- COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair: Professor Marcella Nunez-Smith
Professor Nunez-Smith is currently a scholar of internal medicine, public health and management at the Yale Medical School’s Equity Research and Innovation Center.
- Transportation Secretary: Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg
This position could give this former South Bend mayor and 2020 presidential candidate the platform to roll out his $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The nomination could also give Buttigieg the experience needed to be more successful in a future presidential election.
- Climate Envoy: Mr. John Kerry
Mr. Kerry is a previous U.S. Senator and Secretary of State; he has dedicated much of his career to tackling climate change.