President-elect Joe Biden has reportedly picked Dr. David Kessler, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, to take over the Trump administration’s clunking rollout of the coronavirus vaccines. The New York Times reports that Kessler’s job in the Biden administration will be to take the lead on the manufacturing, distribution, and ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments as part of Operation Warp Speed. The Trump administration had promised to immunize 20 million people by the end of last year, but only around 11 million shots have been given so far, and it will be Kessler’s job to accelerate those efforts. According to the Times, Kessler is a close ally of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the two worked together in the 1990s in the development and approval of drugs to treat AIDS/HIV. As FDA commissioner during the Clinton and Bush eras, he’s remembered for taking on Big Tobacco. Biden’s announcement came a day after the U.S. was just shy of 4,500 deaths a day from COVID-19, another record high.
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