President-elect Joe Biden met with his Transition Team's COVID-19 Advisory board for the first time on Monday morning, and delivered remarks following the meeting.
"I will spare no effort to turn this pandemic around when I'm sworn in on Jan. 20," Biden said.
In his remarks, Biden congratulated Pfizer on the company's Monday announcement that early studies show its vaccine candidate is 90% effective in fighting the virus. However, Biden cautioned that even in best-case scenarios, the vaccine won't widely be available for several months. He promised that once vaccine candidates are approved, he will ensure that doses are distributed safely and efficiently.
In addition, Biden called on manufactures to ramp up production of personal protective equipment and also said he planned to order more rapid test kits for use across the country.
Finally, Biden spent several moments promoting the use of masks, calling them "the most potent weapon against the virus.
"It doesn't matter who you voted for...it doesn't matter your party or point of view," Biden said. "We could save tens of thousands of lives in the next few months if everyone just wears a mask."
The address in Wilmington, Delaware came hours after Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced the formation of a COVID-19 Advisory Board as part of their administration's White House Transition Team.
The Biden-Harris Transition team said the board would consist of public health experts who will advise both Biden and Harris.
“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in a press release “The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”
The board consists of:
Dr. David Kessler: Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF. He served as FDA commisioner from 1990-1997.
Dr. Vivek Murthy: Served as 19th Surgeon General of the United States from 2014-2017.
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith: Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Management at Yale University and the Associate Dean for Health Equity Research at the Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Luciana Borio: VP of Technical Staff at In-Q-Tel. She is also a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dr. Rick Bright: Immunologist, virologist and former public health official.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: Oncologist and Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Atul Gawande: Cyndy and John Fish Distinguished Professor of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Dr. Celine Gounder: Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and cares for patients at Bellevue Hospital Center.
Dr. Julie Morita: Executive Vice President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
Dr. Michael Osterholm: Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.
Ms. Loyce Pace: Executive Director and President of Global Health Council.
Dr. Robert Rodriguez: Professor of Emergency Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.
Dr. Eric Goosby: Professor of Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.
This story was originally published by WXYZ in Detroit.