Penn Vice Provost of Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel could be named to former Joe Biden's COVID-19 transition task force if Biden wins the election, according to a report from Politico.
A Penn spokesperson clarified that Emanuel has not yet been named to any Biden transition task force.
Politico reported that Emanuel is part of a team of top public health experts that Biden could appoint to an advisory panel to guide his transition team on mitigation and management of the COVID-19 pandemic. No winner has been declared in the presidential election yet, although Biden currently leads President and 1968 Wharton graduate Donald Trump in electoral votes.
Currently a member of Biden's Public Health Advisory Committee, Emanuel was also a special advisor for health policy to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2011.
Other members of the announced task force include former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, New York University professor Dr. Celine Gounder, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita, and Yale professor Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Politico reported.
Emanuel’s tenure in the Obama administration occurred during the outbreak of the H1N1 virus, giving him insight into pandemic response.
“The moment H1N1 hit, there were two physicians in the White House — one at the National Economic Council, myself at OMB — who actually knew something about medicine and epidemiology. And we quickly set up a whole room filled with real epidemiologists and other people,” he told Philadelphia Magazine.
If elected, Biden's task force will serve as an advising body for the transition team on the containment of and overall response to COVID-19. They would also attempt to work with the Trump coronavirus task force, Politico reported. The White House task force has disappeared from public view as of late, with limited involvement from Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and months since the last public briefing.
Emanuel recently said in a recent interview with MarketWatch that it could take at least 12 more months for the United States to completely re-open after the lockdowns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.