Two potential vaccines and Biden’s COVID-19 taskforce


The Prairie News

The Prairie News image

President-elect Joe Biden named his coronavirus taskforce which includes a team of public health and science experts. This was announced that same day the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfzier and BioNTech were reported as strongly effective.

According to an article released by AP News, “In an official move, the president-elect formed a coronavirus advisory board dominated by scientists and doctors, while Trump has had a falling out with the medical experts on his own virus task force.”

AP News provided a list of the members of the taskforce which include a variety of professors of medicine, immunologists, virologists and scientists:

  • Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, co-chair. Associate professor of internal medicine, public health and management at Yale University and associate dean for health equity research at Yale’s medical school specializing in health care for marginalized populations.
  • Dr. Rick Bright. Immunologist, virologist. Ousted as head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority after criticizing the federal government’s response to the coronavirus under President Donald Trump. Bright filed a whistleblower complaint alleging he was reassigned to a lesser job because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug Trump pushed as a COVID-19 treatment.
  • Dr. Luciana Borio. Vice president of technical staff at the In-Q-Tel strategic investment firm who until last year was a biodefense specialist on the National Security Council.
  • Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Oncologist and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania who since 1997 has served as chair of the Department of Bioethics at The Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Dr. Atul Gawande. Professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Harvard Medical School who served as a senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration.
  • Dr. Celine Gounder. Clinical assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine who served as assistant commissioner and director of the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control at New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
  • Dr. Julie Morita. Executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who helped lead Chicago’s Department of Public Health for nearly 20 years.
  • Michael Osterholm. Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, former science envoy for health security for the State Department.
  • Ms. Loyce Pace. Executive director and president of the Global Health Council, who previously served in leadership positions at the American Cancer Society.
  • Dr. Robert Rodriguez. Professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Eric Goosby. Infectious disease expert and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine who during the Clinton administration was the founding director of the largest federally funded HIV/AIDS program.

According to an article by Stat News, “The Moderna vaccine reduced the risk of Covid-19 infection by 94.5%.”

A week later, November 16, Moderna released news on their COVID-19 vaccine claiming it to be “strongly effective”. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the preliminary data for the Moderna and Pfiter vaccines are better than he had anticipated. This makes Moderna’s vaccine the third potential vaccine to be used to combat COVID-19.