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Biden Picks Former F.D.A. Chief to Lead Federal Vaccine Efforts

Added 01-15-21 05:40:03am EST - “Dr. David Kessler, who helped speed the development and approval of AIDS drugs in the 1990s, will become the top science official at Operation Warp Speed.” - Nytimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nytimes.com: “Biden Picks Former F.D.A. Chief to Lead Federal Vaccine Efforts”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Dr. David Kessler, who helped speed the development and approval of AIDS drugs in the 1990s, will become the top science official at Operation Warp Speed.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has chosen Dr. David Kessler to help lead Operation Warp Speed, the program to accelerate development of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, according to transition officials.

Dr. Kessler, a pediatrician and lawyer who headed the Food and Drug Administration during the presidencies of George Bush and Bill Clinton, has been a key adviser to Mr. Biden on Covid-19 policy and is co-chair of the transition team’s Covid-19 task force.

He will replace Dr. Moncef Slaoui, a researcher and former drug company executive, who will become a consultant to Operation Warp Speed. Dr. Kessler will share top responsibilities for the initiative with Gen. Gustave F. Perna, who will continue as chief operating officer, according to a Biden transition spokesman. Dr. Kessler’s responsibilities will cover manufacturing, distribution and the safety and efficacy of vaccines and therapeutics.

“Dr. Kessler became a trusted adviser to the Biden campaign and to President-elect Biden at the beginning of the pandemic, and has probably briefed Biden 50 or 60 times since March,” said Anita Dunn, co-chair of the transition team. “When staff gets asked, ‘What do the doctors say?,’ we know that David Kessler is one of the doctors that President-elect Biden expects us to have consulted.”

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