NEW: Co-chairs for Biden pandemic response named. There aren’t 2 better people that could have been named. 1/
The first is @vivek_murthy, who will be the next US Surgeon General. Vivek served in this role during the Obama Admin along with me. The role is even more important now. 2/
Vivek brings the clinical, scientific & public-facing communication needed for the job. But Vivek us also a special human being— thinking about the whole person, mental health, loneliness. 3/…
Jeff Zients is the former head of the National Economic Council under Obama. He and I became friends during the healthcare.Gov turnaround. We spoke 7-8 times many days.

I don’t know anyone smarter, better organized or who sees all parts of government better than Jeff.4/
Importantly Jeff and Vivek while they bring different skill sets share some important traits: they are close to the president-elect, he trusts them implicitly & neither are scared to tell the truth. 5/
I would also say neither of them will rest until every stone is turned over to end this pandemic.

Finally both of them see the non-pandemic consequences clearly. Economic, mental health, small business, social. 6/
I’m grateful to both Vivek & Jeff for serving. One more person & a critical one. 7/
Marcella Nunez-Smith will take a lead role to address health disparities. By race, by geography, by income level, by sexual orientation.

The fact that this role has been created is huge. I expect that voice to be at the table for every big decision. /end

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More from @ASlavitt

4 Dec
VACCINE APPROVAL NEWS: The Pfizer vaccine was approved in the UK. Expect the Oxford/AZ to be approved next week in the UK.

This is significant for some obvious and not so obvious reasons. 1/
The obvious first.

This is one of the biggest wins for mankind & science in my lifetime certainly. 1.5 million people have died. That won’t be 3 million or 4 million. If we do it right, it won’t be 2 million. 2/
Second— for anyone who wonders whether US politics is playing a role in approval of these vaccines, this should be extremely reassuring. In fact, I hope this is case closed.
Read 6 tweets
4 Dec
COVID Update December 3: Not enough attention has been played to the villainous role of Mitch McConnell and the Senate in this pandemic. 1/
With 100,000 people in the hospital & 2500 people dying in a day, things are about to get worse. 2/
There are a lot of reasons for this. Number 1, the virus itself does this and number 2, we have had no public health strategy & practices. 3/
Read 23 tweets
3 Dec
COVID Update December 2: There’s only so long you can be indifferent to people dying before people figure out you’re an asshole. 1/
In a public health emergency, you don’t need a bad guy. After all the pathogen is the real problem. 2/
And there’s a legit discussion one could have about the wisdom of lockdowns, the cost on the economy, on isolation, and on the fatigue of the public. 3/
Read 20 tweets
2 Dec
COVID Update December 1: Every month alive tried to give a preview of what’s ahead.

The best thing about December is that it will end 2020. 1/
The FDA will meet and approve both the Pfizer and Moderna drugs in a highly transparent way.

We will see data. We will see meeting notes. We will see side effects profiles. 2/
From everything we know these vaccines will begin saving lives immediately.

The first 20 million should go to health care workers.
The next 3 million to people in nursing homes.

Those will begin this month but are likely to be completed in January. 3/
Read 23 tweets
1 Dec
COVID Update December 1: Donald Trump, here’s your chance. This message is for you.

No need to tweet that he won’t do any of these things. Really, I do get that. But I’m going to make my plea anyway. 1/
Donald Trump is still the person in the country who could do the most to prevent the most deaths.

Each day that goes by is a missed opportunity to save more lives— in ways only he can do. 2/
We are growing 1 million plus new cases/week. Hospitals in the smallest towns & big cities are dangerously teetering on the edge. 3/
Read 23 tweets
29 Nov
COVID Update November 29: There’s this trite expression that it’s always darkest before the dawn.

I want to talk about the dark. And the dawn. 1/
This expression typically means— keep going, when it feels rough, muscle through, you may be at bottom. And I rather like this expression. For people with depression, they often describe things as being dark. 2/
And who they hell hasn’t been suffering through some depression?

I mean— we have it all: death, joblessness, Congress that’s abandoned us, Venezuela meddling in our elections (dead Venezuelans at that!), fear, Rudy Giuliani melting. 3/
Read 25 tweets

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