March 13, 2020
Secretary Azar Designates Admiral Giroir to Coordinate COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Efforts
On Thursday, March 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar designated Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health and head of the Public Health Service, to coordinate COVID-19 diagnostic testing efforts among Public Health Service agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, as well as state and local public health authorities and private or public clinical laboratories. Secretary Azar issued this statement regarding the appointment:
“Like all of our public health leaders at HHS, Dr. Giroir has been helping with our response to COVID-19 from the start. Dr. Giroir has worked closely with CDC and FDA to coordinate numerous complex public health efforts in his time at HHS. As the outbreak evolves, he is ideally situated to help ensure that any American who needs a test for COVID-19 can receive it. A key priority is to ensure that patients, doctors, and hospitals can access tests seamlessly and with maximum ease, and Dr. Giroir will lead efforts to execute on that goal.”
Dr. Giroir’s area of responsibility encompasses the complete, end-to-end set of diagnostic testing activities, including the customer and patient experience, specimen collection, logistics, testing, result return, and supply chain. To facilitate this coordination, CDC Director Robert Redfield and Commissioner of Food and Drugs Stephen Hahn will report to the Secretary through Dr. Giroir for all issues and activities associated with COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
Dr. Giroir has previously served as Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs and as Senior Advisor to the Secretary on matters involving CDC.