Biden’s Top Choices For HHS Floated
As expected, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy are reportedly the top choices to head the Department of Health and Human Services. In other Biden transition news: the president-elect plans Thanksgiving address; stimulus deal debated; and more.
Biden Eyes New Mexico Governor, Obama Surgeon General For Health Secretary
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy have emerged as top contenders to be President-elect Joe Biden’s health secretary, with Hispanic advocacy groups making a strong push for Lujan Grisham. The nomination of Lujan Grisham, 61, would continue a tradition of presidents tapping governors to lead the sprawling Department of Health and Human Services, and make her the first Latina ever nominated for the post. Murthy, a 43-year-old Yale-educated internist who’s grown close to Biden as a top adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, would be the first nominee of Indian descent for the department’s top job. (Cancryn and Ollstein, 11/24)
In other news related to President-elect Joe Biden —
Biden To Deliver Thanksgiving Address Amid Steep Rise In Covid Cases
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to deliver a Thanksgiving address on Wednesday from Wilmington, Del. Biden's White House transition team said in a press release that the president-elect's speech would touch on "shared sacrifices Americans are making this holiday season" while delivering a message "that we can and will get through the current crisis together." (Egan, 11/25)
Move Fast? Push For A Big Deal? Biden Faces Debate Over More COVID-19 Aid
A question for Joe Biden and his team is whether they should be encouraging Democrats to move quickly, to deliver aid faster, even if that means accepting a smaller deal. (Khalid, 11/25)
Biden Says Staff Has Spoken With Fauci: 'He's Been Very, Very Helpful'
President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that transition staffers have been in touch with Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force. Biden told reporters that while he has not spoken with Fauci himself, “He’s been very, very helpful.” (Axelrod, 11/24)
CDC Officials Reportedly Excited About Biden Transition: 'This Is What We've Been Waiting For'
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials are reportedly expressing relief that a formal transition to the Biden administration is now underway. "This is what we’ve been waiting for is for them to send their landing team here and set up shop,” a senior CDC official told CNN. (Budryk, 11/24)
How Joe Biden Might Try To Make Masks A Less Partisan Issue
It was Memorial Day when then-candidate Joe Biden made his first public appearance since the coronavirus shut down in-person campaigning. Before he went out to place a wreath at a veterans memorial in Delaware, Biden and his team decided he would wear a mask. It wasn't a difficult decision, an aide said when asked about the choice. "Wearing one of these masks when you're outside is not a partisan issue," Biden said a couple of days later during a livestreamed event. "It is a matter of protecting other people." New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also indicates it protects the wearer of the mask as well. (Keith, 11/24)