Biden took office last January amid rising Covid numbers nationwide, taking charge of the country’s response to the pandemic from President Donald Trump, whose handling of the coronavirus was difficult and often fired to the dangerous and the bizarre. But while the presidential campaign and the Biden administration have generally criticized Trump’s response to the pandemic, Slavitt credited the former president’s team earlier this year for their swift work on vaccine development.
More than 185,000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the United States on Biden’s first day in office, January 20. As of Tuesday, those numbers were closer to 15,000. Biden’s response to Covid-19 has focused on vaccinating Americans, with a target for 70% of the country’s adults to be vaccinated by July 4. The Biden administration also placed emphasis on mask wearing early in his tenure, a sharp break with Trump, who rarely wore a mask in public and was uneven in its promotion as a mitigation tool.
Prior to being part of the Biden Covid-19 response team, Slavitt served as the Interim Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2015 to 2017.