His fellow co chair is Dr David Kessler, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration who has served both Republican and Democrat presidents. A paediatrician by training he is also the author of a book warning of the dangers of the over-consumption of processed foods, whose high fat, sugar and salt content he says conditions us to eat more.
Perhaps the most intriguing appointment is that of Professor Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor at Yale University. She is an expert on discrimination in health care and has called for state level reporting of the race and ethnicity of Covid cases given the high number of infections and deaths among black and ethnic minority populations.
The unveiling of the task force could not come at a more critical time in the life of the pandemic in the US. The virus is showing no signs of slowing down and the number of new cases has topped 100,000 every 24 hours for several days running. More than 237,000 people have died here and there have been nearly 10 million cases in total.
So what will be on top of Mr Biden’s to-do list?
“I implore you, wear a mask… A mask is not a political statement,” Mr Biden said on Monday, sending out a very different message than Mr Trump. Masks have become one of the new fronts in the US culture wars – but Mr Biden, who was regularly pictured wearing a mask during the election campaign – would like to see them de-weaponised and normalised.
In his list of presidential priorities Mr Biden says he wants to encourage every American to wear a mask when they are around people from outside their household and he is urging state governors to make mask-wearing mandatory.