President-elect Joe Biden implored America to depoliticize mask wearing during his Monday debrief on coronavirus.
“A mask remains the most potent weapon against the virus. Today’s news doesn’t change that urgent reality,” he said of reports that Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is posting a 90 percent efficacy rate. “Doesn’t matter your party, your point of view. We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months. Not Democrat or Republican lives, American lives.” (RELATED: Biden Forms New ‘COVID-19 Advisory Board’ With Members From Bush, Obama, And Trump Administration Alums — Addresses Pfizer Vaccine News)
“A mask is not a political statement but it is a good way to start pulling the country together. I want to be very clear, the goal of mask wearing is not to make your life less comfortable, or to take something away from you,” Biden continued. “It is to give something back to all of us, a normal life. The goal is to get back to normal as fast as possible, and masks are critical doing that. It won’t be forever, but that’s how we get our nation back up to speed economically.”
Earlier in the briefing, Biden announced that he had formally convened his coronavirus advisory board, consisting of 13 health professionals with backgrounds in the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations in addition to private industry.
The board is chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, and Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine. Murthy and Kessler — respective alumni of the Obama and George H. W. Bush administrations — have led Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ coronavirus briefings over the past several months.
The group includes President Donald Trump’s former Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Rick Bright, former National Security Council Director for medical and biodefense preparedness Luciana Borio, President Barack Obama’s former National Affordable Care Act architect Ezekiel Emmanuel and former global AIDS coordinator Eric Goosby.