MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President-elect Joe Biden is signaling he plans to move quickly building out his government and he’s started by naming former surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, who grew up in Miami, as co-chair of his Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.

Murphy came to Miami when he was three years old and was valedictorian of Palmetto Senior High when he graduated in 1994.

Biden also named former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Management at Yale University, as co-chairs of the group.

Dr. Beth Cameron and Dr. Rebecca Katz are serving as advisors to the Transition on COVID-19 and will work closely with the Advisory Board.

“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,” said President-elect Joe Biden in a statement. “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.”

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“New cases are rising in at least 40 states, with more than 9.3 million total infections and more than 236,000 deaths. President-elect Biden has pledged to bring leadership to the COVID pandemic, which continues to claim thousands of lives each week, by curbing the spread of the disease, providing free treatment to those in need, and elevating the voices of scientists and public health experts,” according to a statement from the Biden-Harris Transition team.

The Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board will consult with state and local officials to determine the public health and economic steps necessary to get the virus under control, to deliver immediate relief to working families, to address ongoing racial and ethnic disparities, and to reopen our schools and businesses safely and effectively.

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