Early Monday, President-elect Joe Biden announced several nominations to lead his health team.
- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is nominated as secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- He is a 12-term congressman who helped vote the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law, and is currently the attorney general leading the 20-state coalition in defense of the ACA in Texas v. California
- As a staunch advocate of the ACA, employers can expect regulations that rescind certain measures taken under Trump’s HHS and to reinforce the goals and objectives of the ACA in future rule-making
- Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general under President Obama from 2014 to 2017, is nominated to reclaim that post under Biden and tweeted that he is “grateful for the opportunity to help end this pandemic, be a voice for science”
- Rochelle Walensky is nominated to director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Walensky is currently the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, professor at Harvard Medical School, chair of the AIDS Research Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and member of the HHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents
- Her research and career has focused on HIV/AIDS, but she’s also spent a great deal of time investing in research on COVID-19, and you can learn more about her perspectives here (transcript is available), including her thoughts that current protocols on masks and social distancing may continue for all of 2021 and perhaps into 2022 even when vaccines become more broadly adopted
- Anthony Fauci will remain director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
We’ve known since November 23 that Biden’s pick for Treasury secretary is Janet Yellen, who received votes from almost a dozen Republican senators in 2014 when nominated to chair the Federal Reserve through 2017.
There is currently no confirmed nominee to head the Department of Labor (DOL), but other position announcements are summarized here.
IMA will continue to monitor regulator guidance and offer meaningful, practical, timely information.
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