Julie Morita, the executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Plainsboro, has been appointed to serve on President-Elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board.
Morita previously served as the health commissioner for the city of Chicago. According to her biography on the foundation website, she is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, sat on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Community Based Solutions to Promote Health Equity in the United States. She began her career in public health as an epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where she learned to identify causes of disease outbreaks, recommended prevention and control measures, and implemented strategies to protect people from illness and death. She started her medical career as a pediatrician in Tucson, Ariz.
At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Morita oversees programming, policy, research, and communications. She began working at the foundation in June of 2019.
Morita is one of more than a dozen public health experts and scientists appointed to the advisory board in Biden’s first act as president-elect. The United States is expected to surpass 10 million confirmed COVID-19 infections today. The seven-day average for new cases is more than 100,000 per day for the first time, and in five of the past seven days, COVID-19 has killed more than 1,000 Americans.
The new advisory group is slated to brief Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris today, and then Biden is expected to deliver remarks on his plan to control the pandemic, according to national news reports.