President Joe Biden has announced that his former COVID czar, Jeff Zients, will be replacing Ron Klain as White House chief of staff.
Zients was appointed to lead the administration's COVID-19 response in January 2021 and has since been praised for his efforts in tackling the pandemic. He is an experienced business executive who previously served as director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama and was a member of the president’s Management Advisory Board during the Trump administration.
Klain, who was appointed by Biden in December 2020, will remain part of the White House team and serve as a senior advisor to the president. He had previously served as chief of staff to Vice President Biden from 2009 to 2011 and had been credited with helping to manage the Obama administration’s response to the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.
The announcement comes just weeks after Biden tapped Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University's School of Public Health, to become his new COVID czar. Jha is an outspoken public health expert who has been vocal about his support for aggressive measures such as mask mandates and social distancing guidelines in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.