Andy Slavitt, the lead White House advisor on the country’s Covid-19 response, announced that Wednesday would be his last day on the job.
“Today is my last briefing and tomorrow is my last day in the White House,” Slavitt said at a coronavirus response briefing Tuesday. “It has been an honor to serve as part of the administration committed to working day and night until Americans are able to feel safe again from this pandemic.”
Slavitt, who was the acting chief of Medicare and Medicaid during the Obama administration, was appointed to the temporary position in January, and had been expected to leave this month. Special government employee appointments are limited to 130 days on the job.
“You are a class act and we will miss you greatly,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told him during the briefing.
A key figure in the administration’s pandemic response, Slavitt used his final briefing appearance to urge Americans to keep combatting the coronavirus.
“Even as so much of what we cherished is returning, we cannot let our progress be a reason for taking our foot off the pedal. Threats remain. We must push harder so more Americans can return to normal life with the peace of mind that comes with being vaccinated,” he said.
In an interview last week with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Slavitt hailed the progress that’s been made since January.
“We’re not done by any means, but we have all lived through what’s perhaps may be one of the most spectacular transformations of a country and a country’s well-being in as short a period of time as from the time President Biden took office, when Covid was killing thousands of people a day, we couldn’t produce vaccines and people were very scared and frustrated, to today, where we really have a much more manageable situation,” Slavitt said, describing the current state of the fight against the virus as “a situation where if we continue to do what’s in front of us, now the worst is behind us.”