(Reuters) – The Biden administration is reorganizing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create an independent division that would lead the country’s pandemic response, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
The move will make the HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) an agency at par with organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the report said, citing seven people briefed on the plan and a memo obtained by The Washington Post.
The new division will be charged with coordinating the nation’s response to health emergencies, according to the report.
The ASPR office works to promote the research and development of medical supplies and has played a key role in responding to the coronavirus and other healthcare crises.
The creation of the new division will be phased out over two years and it would be run by Dawn O’Connell, who currently heads ASPR, the report added. (https://wapo.st/3cu2Mwe)
HHS did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)
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