Former COVID policy coordinator Jeff Zients will be named as US President Joe Biden’s new chief of staff, resurrecting a critical job as Biden prepares for a prospective re-election campaign and faces with an inquiry into his handling of confidential data.
Reuters was informed by sources familiar with the situation that Ron Klain, Biden’s current chief of staff, will be leaving his position in the near future, and after his successor begins to ease the transition, he is expected to continue as the chief of staff. According to the source, the White House is expected to announce the appointment on Monday and the White House has not responded at this point.
Since the beginning of the Biden administration in early 2021 through April of last year, Jeff Zients, who has spent the majority of his career in the private sector rather than politics, has served as the White House COVID coordinator, and has done so for some time. Despite receiving praise for overseeing and implementing Biden’s initiatives to increase vaccination rates among Americans, he was also criticized for the administration’s failure to take early steps to expand testing facilities.
The decision that Biden will run for a second four-year term in 2024, which is expected to occur after the State of the Union address next month, will come at a crucial time if Jeff Zients returns to the White House. Furthermore, the decision comes at a time when a special counsel inquiry into the president’s handling of sensitive documents is just beginning.
There is no doubt that this has given congressional Republicans the confidence to conduct their own investigations and one of the most crucial positions at the White House is the Chief of Staff, which is a political appointee who is responsible for advancing the president’s policy agenda and making sure the right staff members are appointed.