President-elect Joe Biden has officially brought Dr. Anthony Fauci on board. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a leader during the coronavirus pandemic, will be the administration’s chief medical adviser.
“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 told CNN.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for 36 years and six administrations, told NBC’s “Today” that he didn’t have to consider the offer for very long. “Oh, absolutely. I said yes right on the spot, yeah,” he said Friday.
Ron Klain, the incoming White House chief of staff, tweeted his approval. “There are few public servants in our history who have served as long and as well and with as much distinction at (sic) Dr. Tony Fauci. It will be a great honor to work with him again,” he wrote.
President Donald Trump reportedly cast Fauci aside at various points the past several months, and the two appeared to clash over Fauci’s urgent warnings about COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing and larger gatherings. Trump and his team also delayed the beginning of a presidential transition while trying to cement election fraud claims.
Fauci said those delays in the transition process should not have any significant effect on the growing coronavirus statistics. “I would have liked to have seen us getting involved with the team as early as we possibly could because we want the smooth transition to occur,” Fauci told CBS News. “Everyone believes that a smooth transition is certainly better than no transition.”