Biden-Harris team announces coronavirus advisory board
Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier reacts to president-elect Joe Biden vowing to implement a mask-wearing mandate.
After giving credit to the qualifications of President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisory board, Fox News medical contributor Nicole Saphier raised a concern about their move to potentially suppress Americans' civil liberties.
“Moving forward, I do want to make sure that they are respecting all Americans,” Saphier told “Fox & Friends.”
“What are we going to do? How are we going to move forward while preserving people’s freedoms, individual freedoms, but also doing what is right for our country as this is a highly contagious virus and the spread was inevitable?” Saphier said.
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In his first official move as president-elect, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Monday announced the formation of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board that will “help shape” the incoming administration’s approach to managing the coronavirus pandemic.
The board will be led by co-chairs Dr. David Kessler, who served in both the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations as FDA commissioner; Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general under the Obama administration; and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of internal medicine, public health and management at Yale University. Also on the board: Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of the Affordable Care Act and former special adviser for health policy during the Obama administration.
The move comes as the U.S. neared 10 million total coronavirus cases with more than 237,000 related deaths amid what's being described as the third COVID-19 wave, according to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University.
Biden on Monday also announced that Dr. Beth Cameron, who helped create a “pandemic playbook” under the Obama administration, and Dr. Rebecca Katz, who served on the Biden campaign’s advisory committee on coronavirus, will serve as advisers to the transition on COVID-19.
“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,” Biden said 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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Saphier raised concern over Biden vowing to implement a universal mask mandate. Furthermore, the medical expert highlighted the hypocrisy of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy prohibiting in-person public school classes while allowing other gatherings, leading people to “question” whether public officials are “following the science.”
“We start talking about universal mandates, specifically, mask-wearing, and while I understand the concept behind that, I think the overall message needs to be an encouragement of wearing masks. That's what we see in countries across the globe. It’s not draconian measures, it is just an overall recommendation and really an understanding of why it is important to do that,” Saphier said.
Saphier went on to say, “If you have these harsh recommendations that don’t really follow science, that’s when you’re going to start seeing people questioning them in distrust form and, unfortunately, when there is distrust, that’s going to breed people not adhering to it and potentially causing an increase in the transmission of the virus.”
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
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