Scoop: Biden to announce COVID-19 task force Monday
Joe Biden plans Monday to name a 12-member task force to combat and contain the spread of the coronavirus, sources tell Axios.
Why it matters: By announcing a COVID task force even before unveiling his senior White House staff or a single cabinet appointment, Biden is signaling that addressing the coronavirus will be the immediate priority for his transition, and then his potential administration.
- While Biden still hasn't declared victory in Tuesday's election, his team is already planning to govern, and he and his advisers want to reassure the country they can address a health crisis that's getting worse, not better.
Details: The task force will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Marcella Nunez-Smith from Yale University.
- Some members of the group have been advising Biden throughout the campaign, both the public policy challenges, as well as adopting health protocols for the campaign itself to prevent the spread of the virus in Biden's inner circle.
- On Friday night, Biden claimed voters have "given us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism."
The backdrop: As of 8am, the United States had suffered 236,099 deaths from COVID-19, according to the Axios Coronavirus Dashboard.