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Carl Bergstrom among suggested names for President-elect Biden’s coronavirus advisory panel in NYT

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 13:45 to Monday, March 1, 2021 - 13:45

In a New York Times article, Carl Bergstrom, UW Biology professor, is among the list of names suggested for President-elect Joseph Biden Jr.'s coronavirus advisory panel.


Mr. Biden has said that he intends to tackle the pandemic from his first full day in office, on Jan. 21. But because coronavirus deaths follow new cases by some weeks, any results of his actions may not be apparent before early spring.

The experts generally praised the panel of advisers chosen by Mr. Biden, depicting them as reputable scientists who could credibly reach out to many groups hard-hit by the pandemic, including Black and Hispanic Americans.

But several experts, some of whom spoke anonymously to avoid offending friends and colleagues, said the panel needed different skills and a different kind of balance.

Some felt that it should have more scientific expertise, and suggested recruiting more vaccinologists, such as Dr. Paul A. Offit of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and more epidemiologists, such as Harvard’s Marc Lipsitch and Natalie E. Dean of the University of Florida.

Others said the panel needed more behavioral scientists adept at fighting rumors, which have been a major obstacle.

“We’re facing extremely complex and poorly understood dynamics around disinformation, conspiratorial theories, paranoia and mistrust,” Dr. Lincoln noted.

Among the suggested names with those skills were Heidi J. Larson of the Vaccine Confidence Project in London, Carl T. Bergstrom of the University of Washington and Zeynep Tufekci of the University of North Carolina.

Read the full article in The New York Times.

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