David Kessler, a key member of the Biden administration's COVID team, is leaving the White House according to Politico.
The news was announced on Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Kessler is now scheduled to officially leave the Biden administration at the end of the month.
The 71-year-old Kessler has had several stints in the U.S. government. Between 1990 and 1997, under the administrations of both former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, he was the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
More recently, however, Kessler has been one of President Joe Biden's top COVID-19 advisors.
President Joe Biden chose Kessler for the Covid-19 response team in 2021. He was also co-chair of the Biden transition’s coronavirus task force and that administration’s head of Operation Warp Speed, the group formed under President Donald Trump to speed vaccine development and distribution.
It appears as though COVID vaccinations were a central focus of Kessler's role in the Biden administration.
The Hill reports:
Kessler and his team oversaw Biden’s goal of getting 100 million shots in arms his first 100 days in office, even after use of the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused. Upon Kessler’s departure, roughly 80 percent of the U.S. population has gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.
The Hill, though, goes on to report that Kessler has not had similar success with regard to COVID booster shots.
It is not immediately clear why Kessler is calling it quits. The Biden administration certainly does not appear to be giving up on its COVID narrative.
His departure, however, comes not long after the retirement of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Fauci and the Biden administration have faced much criticism for their handling of the pandemic.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, on Friday, put out a statement praising Kessler for his work with the Biden administration.
Whether he was leading our effort to develop and distribute safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, or sharing his perspective during daily strategy sessions and data deliberations, Dr. Kessler’s contributions to our COVID-19 response have helped save lives. I am grateful for the wisdom he has shared with us and wish him the best in his future endeavors.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain also put out a statement, saying, "There has been no more valued and trusted wise advisor to the @POTUS on scientific and medical matters than Dr. Kessler. He will be GREATLY missed."