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Andy Slavitt, a senior advisor on President Joe Biden’s coronavirus response team, confirmed Friday he will be leaving his role in early June.
Slavitt, whose temporary position on Biden’s Covid panel was known to be expiring next month, said that while the administration had achieved many of its goals for the pandemic, more work remains to be done.
“Look, there’s never a perfect time to leave,” Slavitt said in a Bloomberg interview. But he said he believes that when he does depart, “things are in really great hands with the people here, that many difficult things have been accomplished.”
“There’s much more work to do, but the people here, I couldn’t think of a better set of people to do it than the people that will be here when I’m gone,” he said.
Asked what else needs to be done, Slavitt mentioned the “big job” of persuading the remaining bloc of unvaccinated Americans to get their shots, as well as helping other struggling nations’ vaccination efforts.
“There will always be things to do, there will always be challenges,” Slavitt said. “Hopefully they will not be as intense for the country’s sake as they’ve been so far.”
Slavitt said he will be leaving sometime in “the beginning of June.” The White House did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment for more details. Slavitt was a so-called special government employee, a status that limits his service to 130 days, according to the Department of the Interior.
Slavitt discussed his plans a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in most situations.
The shift in guidance marked a significant relaxation of social distancing recommendations that had been in effect in one form or another throughout most of the pandemic. Biden and other administration officials celebrated the update, which coincided with the U.S. hitting 250 million vaccinations, as a turning point in the United States’ fight against the virus.