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Friday, January 27, 2023
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Biden Expected to Pick COVID Boss to be Chief of Staff

'When Jeff took this job, less than 1% of Americans were fully vaccinated...'

(Headline USAJoe Biden is expected to name Jeff Zients, who ran the administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of Biden’s term, as his next chief of staff, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Biden’s current top aide, Ron Klain, is preparing to leave the job in the coming weeks.

Since serving as COVID-19 response coordinator, Zients has returned to the White House in a low-profile position to work on staffing matters for the remainder of Biden’s first term.

The two people familiar with the matter were not authorized to publicly discuss Biden’s plans before an official announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Washington Post first reported on Zients’ expected appointment. The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Zients and his deputy on the White House’s pandemic response team, Natalie Quillian, left the Biden administration last April. Biden thanked him for “stunning” and “consequential” progress battling the pandemic.

“When Jeff took this job, less than 1% of Americans were fully vaccinated; fewer than half our schools were open; and unlike much of the developed world, America lacked any at-home COVID tests,” Biden said when the White House announced Zients’ departure.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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