Texas doctor named to President-elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 task force

Courtney Fischer Image
Monday, November 9, 2020
Texas doctor named to Biden's COVID-19 task force
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This is what we know about the doctor named to President-elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory board.

A Texas doctor is among the health officials named to President-elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory board.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are expected to receive a briefing from the board Monday morning in Wilmington, Delaware.

The team will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administrator commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of medicine at Yale University.

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Thirteen co-chairs and members will comprise the board, including Dr. Robert Rodriguez from Brownsville, Texas.

Rodriguez, who graduated from Harvard Medical School, returned home to the Rio Grande Valley as the number of people dying from coronavirus soared over the summer. He volunteered to help with the critical surge in the ICU.

He told ABC News in July that he saw at least one person die daily from the virus.

READ MORE: California doctor calls week working in Texas hospital hardest of his career

"Everybody is wearing masks here. The spread is not because people aren't being responsible. I think it's largely due to socioeconomic issues," Rodriguez said at the time. "The best way you can take care of frontline providers and everybody else here in the hospital is by taking care of yourself."

Currently, Rodriguez serves as a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, where he works on the frontline in the emergency department and ICU of two major trauma centers. According to a release from Biden's transition team, Rodriguez has authored over 100 scientific publications and has led national research teams examining a range of topics in medicine, including the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of frontline workers.

In Harris County, there are more than 167,000 cases and 2,300 deaths. At this point, more than 237,000 Americans have died from the virus. One thousand people died in the U.S. on Sunday alone.

SEE ALSO: As Texas COVID-19 cases climb, President-elect Joe Biden introduces plan

It's not clear whether or not President Donald Trump's administration will work with Biden's task force. However, Biden says he plans to reach out to governors about a state mask mandate as soon as possible.

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