WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden's next pick for his cabinet could be the most consequential amid the COVID-19 pandemic — director of Health and Human Services. It's hard to imagine a more consequential pick.
Biden is expected to announce his choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services next week.
Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has emerged as a focus of attention for the job. Although Raimondo has been aggressive in confronting the virus, her state is facing a dangerous surge and struggling to flatten the curve.
Businessman Jeff Zients is widely seen as the leading contender for a White House post coordinating the government's overall virus response.
The Associated Press reports that one popular pick to lead the department has already turned down another job in the Biden administration — New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has already declined to serve as interior secretary, according to a person close to the Biden transition team.
The AP reports that Vivek Murthy, currently serving as co-chair of Biden's coronavirus task force, could be in the running as Surgeon General.
Biden will also reportedly appoint a top-level White House adviser to coordinate the government's response to the virus.
Whoever is nominated to the position would likely take the reigns in delivering vaccines that had been developed under the Trump administration — a massive undertaking as hundreds of millions of Americans awaiting inoculation.