Biden begins building healthcare team: 5 things to know

President-elect Joe Biden has announced the leaders he would like to oversee his administration's COVID-19 response when he takes office in January. 

Five things to know: 

1. President-elect Biden has chosen Rochelle Walensky, MD, the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, as the new director of the CDC, according to NPR. Dr. Walensky, who is also an expert on AIDS and HIV and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, will play a key role in helping President-elect Biden's administration curtail the COVID-19 pandemic. 

2. President-elect Biden has selected Xavier Becerra, California's attorney general, as his nominee for HHS secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Becerra will be the first Latino to head the health department, which is a $1 trillion-plus agency with 80,000 employees. 

3. President-elect Biden told CNN Nov. 3 that Dr. Fauci would serve as a chief medical adviser and assist his administration with its COVID-19 response plan. Dr. Fauci will also keep his current role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

4. President-elect Biden asked Vivek Murthy, MD, a former U.S. surgeon general under President Barack Obama, to return to an expanded version of that role that includes helping lead the nation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Washington Post reported. 

5. Jeff Zients, a former Obama administration official, is set to serve as the White House's COVID-19 coordinator, according to Politico. Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, a co-chair of President-elect Biden's COVID-19 advisory board, will also take a key role focused on health disparities in the administration's response to the pandemic, according to Politico

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