With the new White House come new possibilities of conflicting interests — and not just from the Biden family.
Andy Slavitt, an incoming White House advisor for the coronavirus response team, cut ties with a mask manufacturing company that had offered him paid promotions.
Slavitt, in one of the paid ads, said Swiss firm Livinguard’s masks “deactivate” coronavirus.
Livinguard had paid for on-air promotions during Slavitt’s coronavirus-themed podcast “In the Bubble.”
“Why I like the Livinguard masks and why I wear them is ’cause they actually deactivate coronavirus thanks to their incredible patented technology that’s been shown to mitigate the spread of microorganisms like bacteria and viruses,” Slavitt said in one episode, as first reported by Axios.
Slavitt stepped back from the podcast last week in anticipation of joining the administration. He’s expected to have a big hand in Covid messaging and vaccine distribution, particularly building up public trust in the vaccine.
Livinguard told Axios that Slavitt’s recorded endorsement stopped airing on the podcast on Tuesday.
Slavitt was the acting chief of Medicare and Medicaid under the Obama administration. Before that, he’d been brought on to fix the botched rollout of the healthcare.gov website, along with Jeff Zients, Biden’s Covid czar.