Dr Ashish Jha Appointed President Bidens New Covid-19 Coordinator
Indian-American public health expert Dr Ashish Jha will take over as US President Joe Biden's Covid-19 response coordinator next month
FREMONT, CA: The White House recently announced that President Joe Biden's Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients and his assistant Natalie Quillian would be departing the office next month. Before Biden took office, he hired Zients, an experienced manager and government executive, to plan and implement a "wartime" federal government response to the coronavirus pandemic, which included beefing up supply and distribution of vaccines, medicines, and testing. His departure comes as the White House shifts its focus from dealing with an emergency to easing Americans back to normalcy as the country adjusts to a milder epidemic that is expected to persist.
Zients and his team issued the newest national Covid-19 strategy earlier this month, outlining a plan to help people to resume their normal activities safely after two years of pandemic disruptions. The appointment of Dr Ashish Jha comes as the Biden administration has been chastised for muddled public messaging on the virus at a time when numerous limitations and mandates are being eased.
As a regular on television news, Biden emphasized Jha's communication skills and familiarity with Americans in his statement announcing his appointment. Biden remarked that when Jeff joined this post, less than one percent of Americans had received all of their vaccines; fewer than half of the schools were open; and unlike much of the developed world, America had any at-home Covid tests. Today, about 80 percent of the adults are vaccinated; over 100 million are boosters; almost every school is open, and hundreds of millions of tests are issued each month. Biden stated that the United States is leading the global fight against Covid, stating that the US has "delivered more free immunizations to other countries than any other nation."
The State Department revealed on Thursday that the United States had provided more than 500 million of the 1.2 billion doses promised by the end of the year with the rest of the globe. The 90-page National Covid-19 Preparedness Plan lays out measures and investments to keep the virus from causing significant illness or death while also preparing for any new variations and ensuring that employers and schools have the resources to stay open.