President-elect Joe Biden taps former OSHA head for COVID-19 advisory board
Washington — Former OSHA administrator David Michaels is among three new members named to President-elect Joe Biden’s Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, Biden’s transition team announced in a Nov. 28 press release.
Michaels, an epidemiologist and George Washington University professor, was OSHA’s most recently confirmed and longest-serving (from December 2009 to January 2017) assistant secretary of labor. He also served as assistant secretary for environment, safety and health from 1998 through January 2001.
“There is much to do to get the country healthy and the economy working for everyone,” Michaels wrote on his Twitter account Nov. 28. “I am honored and proud to join the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.”
In a statement issued the same day, the National Safety Council applauded Michaels’ appointment because it ensures “workplace safety has a voice on the task force.”
“NSC called for this critical appointment on Nov. 17, because with 157 million people in the workforce, employers play a pivotal role in curbing the spread of the virus,” the statement continues. “Notably, employers can lead on important measures such as screening, testing and contact tracing. Dr. Michaels brings a deep understanding of the safety challenges facing both workers and their employers. We have the utmost confidence in his expertise in the midst of an unparalleled safety crisis.”
Two other additions to the board are Jane Hopkins, a registered nurse who specializes in mental health, and Jill Jim, a member of the Navajo Nation and the executive director of the Navajo Nation Department of Health.