- by cnn
- 30 Nov 2023
President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that Covid-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha is leaving the administration.
Biden offered effusive praise for the doctor, who succeeded Jeff Zients as the White House Covid-19 Response coordinator in March 2022, writing Jha "has effectively translated and communicated complex scientific challenges into concrete actions that helped save and improve the lives of millions of Americans."
"I extend my deepest thanks to Ashish and his family. We are a stronger and healthier nation because of his contributions to public service."
Biden added, "When I took office, our nation was facing a once-in-a generation pandemic, hit with a virus that changed everything. Thanks to my administration's whole-of-government approach, we now have the tools to manage Covid-19 and the virus no longer controls our daily lives."
A physician and researcher specializing in pandemic preparedness and response, Jha was previously the dean of Brown University's School of Public Health.
In the coordinator role, Jha led the White House's Covid-19 response team, which was responsible for coordinating the nationwide rollout and distribution of vaccines, treatments and medical supplies. He was also a public messenger for the administration on other public health concerns, such as last year's mpox outbreak. And Jha was at the helm when the president contracted Covid-19.
Jha's announced departure comes a month after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that its director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, would be leaving her government post. Walensky, who is scheduled to leave the CDC at the end of June, also served as a key voice for the administration during the pandemic.
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