Statement of CSPI president Dr. Peter G. Lurie

Our lives will not be back to normal until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, and the pandemic will not be over until we put vaccinations in 300 million or so arms. That is why the Center for Science in the Public Interest is so enthusiastic that President-Elect Joseph Biden has selected Dr. David A. Kessler, the former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and current Chair of CSPI’s Board of Directors, to serve as Chief Science Officer of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. David is the rare physician who is also a lawyer. He has a record of achievement inside and outside government and brings the credibility and the gravitas necessary to steer a science-based course toward the end of the pandemic.

We are also grateful to David for agreeing to return to government service in this role, and we thank him for his work as co-chair of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, which has helped reassure a nervous nation that help is on the way. The only downside, hardly worth mentioning in this context, is that it means CSPI will be losing the chair of our Board. His visionary leadership leaves CSPI on a sounder financial footing and with a clearer path forward to improving the public health. So we also thank him for his leadership of our organization, both before and during the pandemic, and offer our support if we may be of assistance.