The ‘A-Team’? Could Biden’s task force find the coronavirus cure?
It’s no surprise that leaders around the world have accessed Trump of mismanagement when it comes to the coronavirus. From calling it fake to not acting in time to make testing available, America failed to curb the infection. Few countries have been impacted at the scale at which the United States has, where the number of cases of infection has crossed 10 million.
To put this into context, this is one-fifth of the entire world’s cases in one country alone. For a country that houses just 4% of the world’s population, that’s a huge number. These numbers still remain estimates and the actual toll could be higher since testing resources haven’t been available sufficiently throughout this pandemic.
The first confirmed case of coronavirus in America was reported in Washington state on January 21. But even after the WHO had declared the coronavirus infection as a global health emergency, Trump shirked responsibility by claiming that everything was under control.
One president’s hoax is another president’s science
Trump was quoted as saying, “We have very little problem in this country at this moment – five [cases]. And those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us.” They did form the task force that would help the country defeat the infection before it aggravates. Or at least, that was the hope.
Called the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, it was established on January 29, 2020. The Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar chaired this task force that also had Vice President Mike Pence, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, among others as members.
While on one hand the situation with regards to the spread of the infection, the development of testing kits, or testing shortages hardly changed, on the other hand, Trump kept tweeting that everything was under control. As the world went into a global lockdown, it became clear that nothing would ever be the same again.
White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci’s estimation in March was that the virus could claim the lives of 100,000 to 200,000 Americans. It seemed like little heed was being paid to the expert, as Trump kept shifting his own estimations from 60,o000 in April to 70,000 by the end of that month, and then 80,000-100,000 in early May.
Now that President-elect Biden will take matters in his own hands, he has announced his plans to meet with his new task force on Monday. He seems to have a plan that includes not just handling the human side of the pandemic, but also rebuilding the economy which has gone into shambles.
Biden said in a statement, “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.” It seems like he’s directly aiming to dismantle the practice of Trump’s ill-informed, unscientific rumor-mongering. It might be just the thing America needs.
People on a mission
In line with this, he has announced his own task force. He shared, “The advisory board will 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.”
His task force will be co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, and Yale University associate professor Marcella Nunez-Smith.
His A-Team, he shares, consists of a group of leading scientists & experts as Transition Advisors to help activate the Biden-Harris coronavirus plan. These will include Dr Beth Cameron & Dr Rebecca Katz who’ll work closely with the Advisory Board.
Other members of the board include Dr Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease & Policy at the University of Minnesota; Dr Atul Gawande, a former senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services; and Dr Ezekiel Emanuel, former special adviser for health policy in the White House Office of Management & Budget.