President-elect Joe Biden will not be sworn into office until January 20, but it appears he is taking action now to do what he can to control the record-breaking spread of the coronavirus.
Biden will announce a coronavirus task force on Monday, according to comments he made Saturday night.
"On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisors to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021. That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern," Biden said during a speech Saturday night.
The announcement about this team comes before other traditional presidential transition team announcements, like potential cabinet members and senior White House staff.
Aides to Biden tell media outlets the task force plans to hold frequent televised briefings on the crisis.
The task force will be led by three people at this point; former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith of Yale University, a Biden campaign official told NBC, CNN, and Axios. There will reportedly be 12 members of the team.
"Our work begins with getting COVID under control. We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments — hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us — until we get this virus under control," Biden said.
As America voted this week, new coronavirus cases first set a record above 100,000 in a day, and then blew past that reaching above 120,000 new cases in a day.
Scientists and health experts have been warning this fall and winter could be “painful,” with Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly saying over the last month that the country’s daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations were going in the “wrong direction” ahead of the winter months.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, new daily cases in 47 states and the D.C. area are rising at least 5 percent a day.
As of Saturday night, more than 237,000 Americans had died from the coronavirus.