Jha appointed White House Covid Response Coordinator

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The administration came under criticism for its response to Omicron, particularly in terms of its failure to provide for adequately and timely testing infrastructure…reports Asian Lite News

US President Joe Biden has appointed Ashish Jha, an Indian-American physician and academic who shot to prominence as a key scientific voice in the debate around the pandemic, as the new White House Covid-19 response coordinator.

“Dr Jha is one of the leading public health experts in America, and a well-known figure to many Americans from his wise and calming public presence. And as we enter a new moment in the pandemic – executing on my national Covid-19 preparedness plan and managing the ongoing risk from Covid – Dr Jha is the perfect person for the job,” Biden said in a statement on Thursday.

Jha, who was born in Madhubani in Bihar, completed his medical degree from the Harvard Medical School and also did a masters in public health from Harvard TH Chan School of Public health, where he went on to serve as a professor. In 2020, he became the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

He will replace Jeff Zients, who Biden hailed for formulating and executing a plan to build the infrastructure to deliver vaccines, tests, treatment and masks to hundreds of millions of Americans.

In the past year, the US ramped up its Covid response strategy, focusing on vaccination. “Today, almost 80% of adults are fully vaccinated; over 100 million are boosted; virtually every school is open; and hundreds of millions of at-home tests are distributed every month. In addition, the US leads the global effort to fight Covid, delivering more vaccines to other countries than every nation on earth,” Biden said.

The administration came under criticism for its response to Omicron, particularly in terms of its failure to provide for adequately and timely testing infrastructure.

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