David Kessler, top health official for Covid vaccines, to leave Biden administration


David Kessler, a key official in the Biden administration’s Covid vaccine and treatment efforts. Is stepping down from his role as chief science officer. The Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday.

Since January 2021, Kessler has led the development and roll out of the Covid vaccine. He took the reins of a Trump-era initiative known as Operation Warp Speed. To accelerate the development of vaccines and treatments.

Kessler, 71, is the latest Covid response official to resign at the two-year mark in office for President Joe Biden. In December, Anthony Fauci resigned as director of the National Institute of Allergy. nd Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to Biden.

On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra praised Kessler for. His contributions to the agency’s Covid response, saying he “helped save lives.”

“For decades, Dr. Kessler has worked tirelessly to address our nation’s most challenging public health issues.

“Dr. Kessler’s contributions to our COVID-19 response have helped save lives. I am grateful for the knowledge. He has shared with us and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

NBC News has reached out to Kessler for comment.

After the 2020 election, Biden’s transition team tapped Kessler to co-chair an advisory board on dealing. With the coronavirus pandemic that included former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who. Has now returned to his former post.

The Biden administration and health officials have had. To combat misinformation and conspiracy theories.

The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. And Prevention show that 78.8% of US adults have completed their primary series of Covid vaccines.

Kessler’s previous government jobs included serving as Commissioner of the Food. And Drug Administration from 1990 to 1997. During that time he oversaw the agency’s response to the HIV/AIDS crisis and later became known. For its efforts to regulate the tobacco industry.

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