David Kessler will be the top Covid health official and leave Biden Administration

David Kessler will be the top Covid health official and leave Biden Administration


Since January 20,21 Kessler was the chief science officer for the coronavirus response of the Administration. He played a crucial role in the introduction and implementation of Covid vaccines.

At a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on federal coronavirus responses on Capitol Hill, Washington, Dr. David Kessler, the Chief Science Officer for the White House COVID-19 Response Team, took part.
On March 18, 2021, Dr. David Kessler, the then-Chief Scientist Officer for the White House COVID-19 Response Team, was called to testify on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.Susan Walsh / AP File

David Kessler was a crucial official in the Biden administration’s Covid vaccine and treatment effort efforts. The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that he is leaving his position as chief scientist officer.

Kessler played an important role in the rollout and development of Covid vaccines since January 2021. Kessler took over the Trump-era initiative Operation Warp Speed, which accelerated vaccine and treatment development.

Kessler (71), is the latest Covid Response official to resign at President Joe Biden’s two year mark. Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to Biden, resigned in December.

Friday’s Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra praised Kessler’s contributions to Covid Response, saying he had “helped save many lives”.

Becerra stated that Dr. Kessler worked hard for decades to tackle the nation’s most difficult public health problems. His work during the COVID-19 epidemic was no exception. The contributions of Dr. Kessler to the COVID-19 response helped save many lives. We are grateful to him for his wisdom and I wish him all the best in the future.”

NBC News reached out to Kessler in order for him to comment.

Biden’s transition staff tapped Kessler as co-chair of an advisory board that would combat the coronavirus epidemic. This included Vivek Murthy (former U.S. surgeon General), who has since returned to his previous post.

During the rollout of Covid vaccines, health officials and the Biden administration had to counter misinformation and conspiracies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 78.8% have received their Covid vaccinations.

Kessler was formerly a commissioner for Food and Drug Administration from 1990 to 1997. He was responsible for the agency’s response in the HIV/AIDS crisis. Later, he became well-known for his efforts to regulate tobacco.

Zoe Richards

Zoe Richards reports on evening politics for NBC News.

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