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Biden picks ex-West Virginia health official as drug czar

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 3:07 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Joe Biden is nominating West Virginia’s former health commissioner as the nation’s top anti-drug official, tapping a doctor who served on the front lines of the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The White House said Tuesday that Dr. Rahul Gupta will be the first physician to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, also known as the ``drug czar.’'

The nomination drew bipartisan praise from West Virginia officials.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice called it ``great news,’' and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says the pick ``means someone with firsthand knowledge of the opioid crisis, especially in West Virginia, will be coordinating the national fight against the drug epidemic that continues to ravage our nation.’'

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