The Wikipedia page of Jeff Zients, who has been tapped to be the coronavirus “czar” in the Biden administration, was recently scrubbed of politically damaging material to make him appear more progressive, according to a report.
Zients, the former chief of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, will take over Dr. Deborah Birx’s duties as the White House’s COVID-19 coordinator, even though he’s not a doctor or public health official, Politico reported.
Until a few months ago, Zients’ Wikipedia page described how he “fell in love with” the culture at Bain & Co., a global management consultancy headquartered in Boston.
The 54-year-old founded his own private equity firm, Portfolio Logic, and also joined the board of Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to the since-altered page, Politico reported.
A chief executive on Obama’s Jobs Council even mentioned that he thought Zients was a Republican, according to the outlet.
Democratic consulting company Saguaro Strategies, using the username “Saguarostrat,” edited out those details from Zients’ page as he gained prominence under President-elect Joe Biden and was later asked to co-chair his transition team.
The firm corrected some inaccuracies, but its overall mission was to portray Zients as more progressive and remove or alter any details that could be deemed politically compromising, Politico reported.
In the section about his role in pushing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which faced left-wing opposition, Saguaro Strategies included Zients’ argument that it was “the most progressive trade agreement there’s ever been.”
Zients’ fawning remarks about Bain were cut and replaced with a description of the company as a “management consulting firm that provides advice to public, private, and non-profit organizations,” according to Politico.
And Zients was described as having left Facebook “over differences with company leadership over governance and its policies around political discourse,” although he has never said that publicly.
The transition team has declined several requests by Politico for interviews with Zients about why he left the social media giant.
A Saguaro Strategies rep confirmed to the news outlet that the Wikipedia account was linked to the firm but declined to comment further.
Asked whether Zients knew about the changes to his Wikipedia page and whether he or someone connected to the Biden campaign hired Saguaro, the Biden transition did not respond.