Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 response coordinator is an academic physician who has mocked early treatment of the virus and has said he considers Dr. Anthony Fauci to be a personal role model.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, is a familiar face to those who get their news about the coronavirus from CNN and other cable and network news shows.
“Dr. Jha is one of the leading public health experts in America, and a well known figure to many Americans from his wise and calming public presence,” Biden said during his announcement of Jha’s appointment March 17.
“And as we enter a new moment in the pandemic – executing on my National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and managing the ongoing risks from COVID – Dr. Jha is the perfect person for the job,” Biden added.
In response, Jha tweeted Biden “has spoken the truth about this virus,” and that his COVID-19 policies have been “based on science.”
This President has spoken the truth about this virus
Has prioritized policies based on science and evidence
Americans are going back to work and school
And it is an honor to work under his leadership
One focused on the health and well-being of the American people
— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) March 17, 2022
According to an article in August 2020 at the Brown Daily Herald, which reported an interview Jha conducted with Fauci regarding vaccines and the “reopening” following the lockdowns, the Herald noted, prior to Jha’s interview, he “looked forward to his conversation with Fauci, a scientist who he has long considered a personal role model.”
“One of the things I really admired about (Fauci) is his ability to communicate effectively to people,” Jha told the Herald. “He doesn’t dumb things down.”
“I think it’s really important that public health leaders speak up at a moment like this, especially when there’s so much misinformation out there … it’s particularly important to have credible scientific forces,” Jha added.
What Jha has decided is not science is treating COVID-19 infection with drugs that have longstanding safety records, which doctors throughout the world have shown to be successful for at-home treatment while keeping patients out of the hospital.
In November 2020, Jha penned an op-ed at The New York Times titled, “The Snake-Oil Salesmen of the Senate,” in which he mocked Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who, at the time, was chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Just days earlier, Jha had served as the only Democrat witness in the first of two hearings hosted by Johnson on the subject of early treatment of COVID-19.
That hearing featured testimony by researchers and practitioners who had already treated COVID patients with success using repurposed medications such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.
During the hearing, Jha admitted he had never even treated patients for COVID-19.
However, in an interview at CBS Mornings last month, Jha said he is “taking care of sick patients with COVID.”
Prior to his testimony against early treatment, Jha tweeted to his followers he will “be a bit lonely” since the “other witnesses are all big Hydroxy fans.”
Tomorrow morning at 9 am
I'll be testifying to the Senate Homeland Security and Govt Affairs Committee
Chairman @RonJohnsonWI wants to discuss Hydroxychloroquine as outpt therapy for COVID
Other witnesses are all big Hydroxy fans so I'll be a bit lonely https://t.co/ZVDcqoiVU0
— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) November 19, 2020
The White House is hoping Jha’s smooth deliveries about COVID on major news shows will help them as they face significant problems related to guidelines and mandates that have actually not been based on “science,” hidden data, and major concerns about the safety of the vaccines.
Upon the announcement of his appointment, Biden’s new COVID czar tweeted, “the pandemic is not over,” and “Vaccinate the world.”
Pediatricians overwhelmingly recommend that kids get vaccinated against COVID
Because the evidence is clear
Kids are better off vaccinated
That's why my three kids all got vaxxed
Ignore the noise
Listen to the doctors who care for children
— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) March 7, 2022
“We are not anywhere near the end of the pandemic,” Jha told CBS Mornings. “[T]here isn’t a single point where the pandemic is over.”
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]