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Joe Biden on Oct. 28 in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated 23 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Unpacking Joe Biden's decision to tap John Kerry as his climate envoy

Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate change.

Why it matters: The transition team's announcement sought to show that it will be an influential role, noting that Kerry — a former Massachusetts senator and the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee — will be on the National Security Council.

Updated Nov 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden to name Antony Blinken as secretary of state

Anthony Blinken, then deputy secretary of state speaks at a 2016 summit 2016 in New York City. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

President-elect Joe Biden will name as secretary of state his longtime adviser Antony Blinken, who has held diplomatic and national security jobs since the Clinton administration, a Biden adviser confirmed to Axios on Sunday.

Our thought bubble: By nominating Blinken, who has worked closely with Biden over the past two decades, Biden may return more authority to and work to rebuild the ranks and morale inside the diplomatic corps after President Trump moved to diminish its reach and centralize decision making inside the White House.