Biden names pandemic official to new national security team

By Trevor Hunnicutt WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to add a senior official overseeing global health security as he remakes the White House National Security Council, restoring a government function cut by the Trump administration before the COVID-19 pandemic, his office said in a statement on Friday.

Reuters January 09, 2021 00:12:27 IST
Biden names pandemic official to new national security team

Biden names pandemic official to new national security team

By Trevor Hunnicutt

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to add a senior official overseeing global health security as he remakes the White House National Security Council, restoring a government function cut by the Trump administration before the COVID-19 pandemic, his office said in a statement on Friday.

Biden had spent much of the 2020 presidential campaign arguing that a decision by President Donald Trump's team to disband a group focused on biodefense left the country unprepared for the novel coronavirus .

Elizabeth Cameron, a biologist who led the pandemic group before it was disbanded, will return to serve as senior director for the team as Biden prepares a strategy he hopes will reduce death and illness from a pandemic that continues to besiege the United States, the statement said.

Vaccines have been slow to make their way to the public, doing little to stop a rise in infections, with over 4,000 Americans dying for a second straight day on Thursday.

Biden will make broader national security changes, too, with his team installing an official with a broad mandate over Russia policy as well as a senior director for climate and energy. The Democrat has vowed to take a tougher approach to both Russia and climate change than his Republican predecessor.

The biodefense group was started by Trump predecessor Barack Obama's administration, in which Biden served as vice president, to prevent pandemics.

The Trump administration disbanded the team and merged some of its members into other units in a move it said was intended to reduce organizational complexity.

Trump's current national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, is among the officials who, according to sources, have considered resigning after Trump supporters occupied the U.S. Capitol in an effort to block Congress from certifying the presidential election results.

(Additional reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Moderna raises 2021 vaccine output forecast to at least 600 million doses
World

Moderna raises 2021 vaccine output forecast to at least 600 million doses

(Reuters) -Moderna Inc said on Monday it would produce at least 600 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, up by 100 million doses from its previous forecast, as the United States continues to roll-out the vaccine. The company was working to invest and hire in order to deliver up to 1 billion doses this year, the higher end of its production forecast, it said

On thin ice? Poles get creative to skate round coronavirus rules
World

On thin ice? Poles get creative to skate round coronavirus rules

WARSAW (Reuters) - A skating rink owner in the Polish city of Szczecin believes he has found a way to keep his business open despite coronavirus restrictions - operate as a flower shop instead. His plan is simple - the customer has to purchase access to the flower "warehouse", then chooses from a box of flowers in the middle of the rink. "You can jump, crawl or go on all fours ..

Yemeni boy, ravaged by hunger, weighs 7 kg
World

Yemeni boy, ravaged by hunger, weighs 7 kg

By Reuters Staff SANAA (Reuters) - Paralysed and severely malnourished, seven-year-old Faid Samim lies curled up on a hospital bed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, having barely survived the journey there.  "He was almost gone when he arrived but thank God we were able to do what was necessary and he started improving. He is suffering from CP (cerebral palsy) and severe malnutrition," said Rageh Mohammed, the supervising doctor of the Al-Sabeen hospital's malnutrition ward.