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US President-elect Joe Biden has announced a 13-member task force to develop his incoming administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country's total coronavirus infections have surpassed 10 million.
US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Monday held consultations with scientists and health care experts, who will lead the next administration's charge on the coronavirus pandemic.
"We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months. Not Democratic or Republican lives. American lives," Biden said at a theater in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, where his campaign organized virtual meetings and speeches for months leading up to the November 3 presidential election.
"So please, I implore you: Wear a mask. Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor. A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together," Biden added, as he and Harris were briefed virtually by experts.
The task force will be co-chaired by former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler, former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor at Yale University, whose research focuses on health care equity for marginalized communities.
The 13-member task force will help Biden put together a blueprint to combat the pandemic.
Other members of the board include virologist Rick Bright, who was ousted from his post at the helm of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority by the Trump administration, as well as officials from former President Barack Obama's administration, including oncologist Ezekiel Emanuel, and former member of the National Security Council, Luciana Borio.
The US has seen successive instances of over 100,000 daily COVID-19 cases in recent days, taking the country's total infections over 10 million.
Biden has repeatedly slammed outgoing President Donald Trump for his lax response to the pandemic.
see/shs (AP, Reuters, AFP)