AHA statement on President-Elect Biden’s health team

AHA statement on President-Elect Biden’s health team

Rick Pollack
President and CEO
American Hospital Association

December 7, 2020

America’s hospitals and health systems welcome President-elect Biden’s announcement of his health team today. We look forward to working with them, including Xavier Becerra as Secretary of HHS, to continue our battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, and make progress on a range of important issues facing our patients and communities across America. These issues include ensuring access to quality health care, making quality care more affordable and equitable and advancing the transformation of the health care delivery system.

If confirmed, Dr. Vivek Murthy would bring strong public health expertise as the surgeon general of the U.S. for the second time, including helping to lead the response to Ebola and Zika. He is a trusted voice and will be a valuable communicator with the American people. The AHA looks forward to working with Dr. Murthy again and supporting his critical work to improve health care across America.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is an exceptional choice to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Walensky is an internationally recognized expert on AIDS, particularly on screening for and the cost-effective treatment of AIDS. She has advised domestic and global medical organizations on a broad range of health issues. Most recently, Dr. Walensky has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response in Massachusetts. She is known for her research, her dedication to patients and her leadership.

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith is the right choice to chair the COVID-19 Equity Task Force. As a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Nunez-Smith has also been instrumental in focusing attention on the persistent inequities in our health care system, which the AHA is also committed to addressing. As the Founding Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Nunez-Smith has made progress in addressing disparities. She has also been providing critical advice on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been instrumental in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through his expertise as an immunologist and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for thirty-six years, he has become one of the most trusted voices in America. Dr. Fauci has unique talents for explaining complex medical concepts clearly and concisely to the American people. His ability has been critical to engaging the public to help them understand the risks of the COVID-19 virus and informing the public on how to take steps to protect themselves and their communities. We look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role as the Chief Medical Advisor to the President on COVID-19 and his continued role as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the months ahead.

Jeff Zients has made a career out of successfully managing major crises and complex initiatives, including leading the effort to improve the 2013 healthcare.gov. tech surge. His leadership and vast management expertise will be crucial in his new role as Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President as we work together to get the pandemic under control.

For the AHA’s statement from earlier today on Xavier Becerra’s nomination to lead HHS, please visit HERE.



Contact:        Marie Johnson, mjohnson@aha.org 
Colin Milligan, cmilligan@aha.org


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