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Andy Slavitt, a senior advisor to President Joe Biden’s coronavirus response team, confirmed on Friday that he will be leaving his role in early June.
Slavitt, whose temporary position on Biden’s Covid panel is known to expire next month, said that while the government had achieved many of its goals for the pandemic, there was more work to be done.
“Look, there’s never a perfect time to leave,” Slavitt said in a Bloomberg interview. But he said he believes that if he retires from the role, “things are in really good hands with the people here, that many difficult things have been accomplished”.
“There’s a lot more to do, but the people here, I couldn’t think of a better group than the people who will be here when I’m gone,” he said.
When asked what still needs to be done, Slavitt mentioned the “great job” of convincing the remaining block of unvaccinated Americans to get their shots and helping other struggling nations to vaccinate.
“There will always be things to do, there will always be challenges,” said Slavitt. “Hopefully, for the sake of the country, they won’t be as intense as before.”
Slavitt said he would be leaving sometime “early June”. The White House did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment for further details on Slavitt’s exit. Slavitt was a so-called special government employee, a status that, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior, limited his service to 130 days.
Slavitt discussed his upcoming departure the day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people would no longer need to wear face masks in most situations.
The shift in guidelines meant a significant relaxation of the social distancing recommendations that were in place in one form or another during most of the pandemic. Biden and other government officials hailed the update, which coincided with the US reaching 250 million vaccinations, as a turning point in the United States’ fight against the virus.