December 7, 2020
Following their first meeting on Thursday, December 3, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), immediately agreed to be President-elect Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor when the new administration takes over on January 20.
Biden’s coronavirus team met with Fauci for the first time Thursday—and at that time, Biden told CNN, “I asked him to stay on the exact same role he’s had for the past several presidents, and I asked him to be a chief medical adviser for me as well, and be part of the COVID team.”
Biden unveiled his 13-person coronavirus advisory board in November. The panel will be led by three chairs: Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general; Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine at Yale University; and David Kessler, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner.
Although the relationship between Fauci and President Donald Trump went south after the POTUS refused to take action on delivering PPE to the medical community or testing the American population during the pandemic-but he is expected to play a pivotal role on Biden’s team.
Trump has been reluctant to support mask mandates or restrictions that might cause economic damage, and he is said to have not attended a meeting of the coronavirus task force in five months, Fortune says.
Trump also helped stall the presidential transition, making it hard until recently for Biden’s team to communicate with Fauci and other public-health officials.
Fauci spoke out against this in November, saying said it would be “better” for public health if he and other health officials could begin working with the president-elect’s transition team.
Fauci also has accused the Trump campaign of “in effect harassing” him after using a clip of his praising the America’s coronavirus response out of context in a campaign ad.
The United States has recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths of any country worldwide. Almost 14 million Americans have tested positive for the virus, and more than 273,000 COVID-19 deaths have been reported, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
Fauci said Thursday marked the first day of “substantive discussions” about the transition between him and Biden’s team.
Research contact: @CNN