Biden elects former FDA chief David Kessler to guide US vaccination efforts
President-elect Joe Biden has appointed Dr. David Kessler, former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), selected to fuel the United States’ vaccination efforts as the new administration prepares its plans to fight the Covid-19 pandemic from day one.
Dr. Kessler is currently the co-chair of the Biden transition team’s coronavirus task force. He will be responsible for Operation Warp Speed, the program launched under President Donald Trump to accelerate the development and distribution of vaccines across the country. Moncef Slaoui, who led the program during the Trump administration, will step down in a month to “ensure a smooth transition.”
“DR. Kessler became a trusted advisor to the Biden campaign and President-elect Biden at the beginning of the pandemic and has informed Biden probably 50 or 60 times since March,” said Anita Dunn, co-chair of the transition team. “When employees are asked: “What do the doctors say?” We know that David Kessler is one of the doctors that President-elect Biden has asked us to do. “
According to reports, Dr. Kessler Biden that Operation Warp Speed - which originally promised to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of December – was not ready to handle the vaccine distribution effort. In working with the incoming administration he will “He has a focus on developing therapies and plans to launch an extensive antiviral development program for the treatment of Covid-19, “reported the New York Times after speaking with interim officials.
During his tenure as head of the FDA, Dr. Kessler played a critical role in reducing the time it takes to approve or reject new drugs, including antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS. Kessler later joined the Yale School of Medicine and was dean from 1997 to 2003.
Alan is a New York based writer, editor, and news junkie.