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Saturday, Nov 28, 2020

Virgin Islander Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith tipped to co-chair US COVID-19 taskforce

Virgin Islander Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith tipped to co-chair US COVID-19 taskforce

The transition team of US President-Elect, Joe R. Biden has tapped a daughter of the US Virgin Islands soil, Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith MD, MHS, to Co-Chair his COVID-19 taskforce in a quest to make good on campaign promises surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the urgency it deserves.

Dr Nunez-Smith, out of the Yale School of Medicine, is an Associate Professor of internal medicine, public health, and management, and will serve as two of the three co-chairs.

She has deep roots in Huntums Ghut, Tortola, with the late former legislator Ethlyn E. Smith her aunt, in addition to Comptroller of Customs in the [British Virgin Islands, Wade N. Smith as her first cousin. She is also related to former USVI Virgin Islands Senator-At-Large Brian A. Smith.

Among her long list of Credentials, Dr Nunez-Smith is also a Founding Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC); Director of the Center for Research Engagement (CRE); Deputy Director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation.

Family Extremely Proud - Brother Moleto A. Smith Jr


Speaking to Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), brother and former candidate for USVI Governor, Mr Moleto A. Smith Jr, who serves as the Executive Director at St Thomas East End Medical Center Corp, US Virgin Islands, said the selection is one that brings glee to the family and well as being a proud moment for the Virgin Islands community.

“It's extremely a prideful moment for the US Virgin Islands and the BVI, given that our roots come out from the BVI… She will do an excellent job. She is exceptionally gifted in the field of medicine and the research she has been doing at Yale University as well as being an epidemiologist,” he told VINO.

Smith Jr further said Dr Nunez-Smith’s selection on the task force is one that will bring science back into the coronavirus response of the US.

“This is not only a great opportunity to showcase the competence of Virgin Islanders, but it's also a great opportunity to bring science and the research back into approaching coronavirus response.”


Speaking to Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), brother Moleto A. Smith Jr, who serves as the Executive Director at St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corp., U.S. Virgin Islands said the selection is one that brings glee to the family and well as being a proud moment for the Virgin Islands community.

'Looking forward to her contributions' - Moleto A. Smith Jr


“I really look forward to her contributions to the task force in advising President-Elect Biden on how to approach policy decisions that have to be made as the virus continues to rage through the United States, the Caribbean and the rest of the world,” he said.

Dr Nunez-Smith’s research focuses on promoting health and healthcare equity for structurally marginalized populations with an emphasis on supporting healthcare workforce diversity and development, developing patient-reported measurements of healthcare quality, and identifying regional strategies to reduce the global burden of non-communicable diseases.

Other credentials or Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith include Director of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership and Co-Director of the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship.

In addition to Dr Nunez-Smith, COVID-19 taskforce will be co-chaired by former U.S Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, Dr David Kessler of the University of California San Francisco and former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.



President-elect Biden said the board will help shape his approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; as well as protecting at-risk populations in a statement today, November 9, 2020.


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