Ron Klain, the former Ebola czar in the Obama administration, is being named as the incoming White House chief of staff once president-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office in January, the transition team said on Wednesday.
The pick appears aimed to highlight Biden’s priority on getting the coronavirus pandemic under control once he is in office.
Klain has been a top aide to Biden, a Democrat, including during the recent election campaign, and has long been the subject of speculation for the key job.
The aide brings with him experience in public health during the Ebola crisis in 2014, as well as knowledge about the US judicial system.
“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again,” Biden said in a statement.
The move was broadly welcomed by Democrats who reacted to the breaking news, including from the progressive wing of the party, with left-leaning Senator Elizabeth Warren saying Klain was a “superb choice.”
The US is breaking records with the number of daily cases, most recently hitting more than 130,000 cases in a single day. Deaths are also on the rise, as are hospitalizations.
More than 240,000 people in the United States have died of the new coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.