Who is Jeff Zients? Former Covid response coordinator to be named Joe Biden’s next chief of staff

Who is Jeff Zients? Former Covid response coordinator to be named Joe Biden’s next chief of staff
Jeff Zients served as counselor to President Joe Biden and as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator from January 2021 to April 2022 (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC: Amid reports of classified documents of Joe Biden getting seized by FBI officials after a thorough search of his home, it is reported that Jeff Zients will serve as the next chief of staff for the president. Zients played a key role in the Biden administration by steering the Covid-19 response and also by carrying out its ambitious vaccine campaign. In April he reportedly left the White House before returning to help the current chief of staff, Ron Klain, prepare for turnover in the administration following the midterm elections.

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Klain has been quite vocal about his intent to leave his post eventually, and he is reportedly preparing to step down in the coming weeks. He has been a longtime adviser to Joe Biden, supported the president through his 2020 campaign, and has helped the administration since getting elected to the office, as per New York Times. Klain has told his colleagues that he wants to do something different after the midterm elections in November and a hectic two years in the White House. 

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U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden (R) joined by Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain (L), speaks during a meeting regarding Ebola at the Eisenhower Executive office building November 13, 2014 in Washington,  D.C. Vice President Biden met with leaders of faith, humanitarian, and non-governmental organizations that are responding to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
President Joseph Biden joined by Ron Klain, speaks during a meeting regarding Ebola at the Eisenhower Executive office building on November 13, 2014, in Washington, DC (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Besides, Klain has worked with Biden since he ran for president back in 1987 and formerly served as his chief of staff during former President Barack Obama’s first term, However, Zients has spent most of his career in the private sector and first got into the politics during the Obama administration. Even having a very limited political background, Zients is said to be a “master implementer” and “engenders deep loyalty” from his colleagues. 

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients (L) and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci brief reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Federal health agencies called for a pause in the administration of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine after six women in the United States developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of vaccination.
White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients (L) and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr Anthony Fauci brief reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 13, 2021 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Who is Jeff Zients?

An American business executive and government official, Jeff Zients served as Counselor to the President and the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator from January 2021 to April 2022. Now, he may be officially designated as the White House Chief of Staff. From February 2014 to January 2017, he was the director of the National Economic Council and was also acting director of the Office of Management and Budget in 2010. Zients was an executive at firms including The Advisory Board Company and CEB, before entering politics. 

Jeff Zients, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the White House’s coronavirus response, attends a news conference at the Queen Theater December 08, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. With the novel coronavirus pandemic continuing to ravage the country with daily records for infections and deaths, members of Biden's health team said they will make fighting COVID-19 the priority.
Jeff Zients attends a news conference at the Queen Theater on December 08, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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What was his role in the Covid-19 response?

Zients reportedly had no public health experience and also very little expertise in fighting pandemics. However, he was praised for his work in leading a sweeping governmental effort to rein in the virus and spearheaded a complex national campaign to vaccinate the vast majority of the nation. He was appointed shortly after Biden won the 2020 Presidential Elections. The 56-year-old reportedly led the development of a step-by-step process for tackling the pandemic and produced a nearly 100-page National Covid-19 Preparedness Plan in the administration’s first days. 

With the utmost level of hard work, Zients and his team boosted the manufacturing of vaccines that had only begun to roll out months earlier and secured enough jabs for every American. In decades, the resulting national vaccination campaign represented one of the largest public health mobilizations. By that summer, more than two-thirds of adults in the country were reportedly fully vaccinated. 

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