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White House taps top HHS lawyer as No. 2 Covid response official

Barclay’s selection comes days after Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, began his duties as White House coronavirus response coordinator.

A veteran of multiple administrations, Barclay is expected to make up for Jha’s lack of government experience in the deputy role. Before serving as HHS deputy general counsel, Barclay served as FDA chief of staff during the Obama administration.

“Lisa Barclay has been selected to step into the role as White House Deputy Covid-19 Response Coordinator. In this role, she will serve alongside Dr. Ashish Jha to help oversee and coordinate the nation’s Covid-19 response efforts,” a White House official said in a statement.

The official touted Barclays’s “deep knowledge of the relevant regulatory frameworks for vaccines, therapeutics, and medical devices related to Covid-19.”

In her role at HHS, Barclay also helped negotiate agreements with international bodies for the US to provide vaccines to foreign countries.

Jha and Barclay are replacing Jeff Zients and Natalie Quillian, respectively, who announced last month they would be stepping down in April.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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