When President-Elect Joseph R. Biden takes office next year, he will inherit the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that has battered the country for months. To gain control of this problem, his transition team announced a team of scientists and doctors who will act as advisors on the coronavirus.
One of these experts is Celine R. Gounder, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and a clinical assistant professor of medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Dr. Gounder spoke with The New York Times to discuss plans for some of the biggest questions of the pandemic. The Biden administration put this team together to address concerns like racial disparities among patients with COVID-19, keeping schools open, mask mandates, and ramping up supplies of protective gear for healthcare workers.
The team will have weekly meetings to answer questions the Biden transition team has, and offer a multidisciplinary perspective on their plans, as well as act as liaisons to state and local health departments.
“They are asking very insightful questions, very thoughtful questions, which demonstrate that they are sensitive to who has really been hit hard, who has suffered,” says Dr. Gounder. “In terms of awareness of the technologies, they understand more than I ever thought a politician would understand. Like asking what would be the appropriate timing and target populations for monoclonal antibodies. For somebody who doesn’t follow these things, that is a really good question.”
The president-elect’s team plans to be prepared to address the pandemic from day 1, relying on science and experts to guide policy on a federal and state level.
Read more from The New York Times.