President-elect Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 tsar, Jeff Zients, has been scraped off the Wikipedia page with material that could portray that it is not progressive enough, Politico first reported.
Zients, the head of business and management, touched the White House COVID-19 coordinator on Thursday. The Ziens will be responsible for overseeing the introduction of the vaccine and mobilizing economic support, among other things.
Under President Obama, Zients served as director of the National Economic Council and acting director of the Office of Administration and Budget.
Democratic consulting firm Saguaro Strategies scrubbed the site over the summer as Zients ’profile rose after joining Biden’s transition team. The company made the changes using the name “Saguarostrat” with the intention of cleaning up anything that could be politically harmful. A Saguaro Strategies employee confirmed to Politico that the Wikipedia account was linked to the company. Once reached by Politico, the username became Cactus78910.
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One of the CEOs of former President Obama’s workplace council noted that he thought Zients, who was Obama’s top aide at the time, was a Republican who used to read his Wiki page. The section has been deleted.
Politico reports that one section – where Zients talked a lot about Bain’s management consulting firm – has been removed, but that writing has already returned. Ziens is said to have “fallen in love with Bain’s culture, his teamwork … and his analytical rigor,” the section reads.
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The company also added that Zients left Facebook “because of disagreements over the company’s management because of its policy around governance and political discourse”. Zients never said this publicly.
On top of Ziens ’role in supporting the trans-Pacific partnership, which saw left-wing opposition, at the top, the company added Zients’ argument that “it was the most advanced trade agreement ever”.
As of writing, this section has been removed.
Zients quotes TPP as promoting: “[t]think of the TPP as a tax cut … it reduces tariffs and removes barriers to trade. “
Sudden scrubbing of someone’s Wikipedia page is not uncommon for people looking for a high-profile post. In June, President-elect Kamala Harris’s Wikipedia page was scrubbed better than any other vice president’s contestant, and most of the edits were done by a single person, The Intercept wrote.
Just before Biden became a candidate, WestExec Advisors removed his work on China from his website. Several of Biden’s cabinet elections were held at the firm, including co-founder Anthony Blinken, who is a candidate for secretary of state, and a former WestExec director, Avril Haines, who is a candidate for director of national intelligence.
Web archives show that the company recently, at the end of July, promoted its success in helping U.S. research universities accept donations from China, expand foreign research collaboration, and host foreign students in key STEM programs while remaining a trusted partner) sponsored research grants. “
In early August, the company said it helped a leading U.S. pharmaceutical company and a multi-billion-dollar U.S. technology company get to market in China.
Both references were removed in early August