White House forms task force to target next coronavirus variants

The White House has formed a new task force that will prepare for the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — and other pandemic threats, according to Bloomberg Government. 

Created by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Pandemic Innovation Task Force will develop vaccines, treatments, diagnostic testing and other tools, officials close to the matter said, as reported by Bloomberg. Cecilia Rouse, PhD, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a Jan. 12 meeting that the group will also focus on managing the "endemic phase."

The group won't focus on daily pandemic responses or the omicron variant. Instead, it will prepare projects aimed to help manage new variants that could emerge within six months to two years. By building and exercising new capabilities, the U.S. will bolster its long-term biodefenses, officials said.

The task force is led by Eric Lander, PhD, science adviser for President Joe Biden, and Dawn O'Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness at HHS.  



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