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Dr. Fauci Meeting With Biden Team on Coronavirus Response

Dr. Fauci Meeting With Biden Team on Coronavirus Response
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, testifies on Capitol Hill on Sept. 23, 2020. (Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 03 December 2020 03:39 PM

Dr. Anthony Fauci, before heading to his first meeting with Joe Biden's transition team Thursday, said he fully expects to keep his job as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a position he's held through six presidential administrations. 

"I'm going to be meeting virtually, as you said, talking about just substantive, uncomplicated transition issues like vaccines and the state of the epidemic and things like that," Fauci told MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

Fauci said he hasn't spoken directly with Biden yet, but he's talked to other transition team members, including Jeff Zients, reportedly the top candidate for Biden's coronavirus czar, coordinating the response to the pandemic. The doctor added he's also spoken with Biden chief of staff Ron Klain, but Thursday's meeting will involve the "landing team" that is working on the priorities for the first months of a Biden presidency. 

"What contribution I will make in the new administration depends on the new administration," Fauci said. "But I cannot imagine I'm not going to be involved in the COVID-19 response. I mean that would, I think, be unheard of if that's the case. But we'll see."

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's task force response coordinator, also started her formal contacts with Biden's team this week. 

Meanwhile, Fauci on Thursday warned that travel and visiting with families will be dangerous, considering the CDC is forecasting 20,000 COVID deaths during Christmas week alone. 

"Sometimes, it's absolutely necessary, but, to the extent possible, don't travel, don't congregate together," said Fauci. "I know how difficult that is. We all have a strong degree of empathy knowing, and myself included, about wanting to be with your family, wanting to have a large Christmas dinner with family and friends over. Right now, that just should not be done."

Coronavirus vaccinations will be starting toward the middle and end of December, with more coming after the first of the year, he added, "so, if we could just hang on and do those fundamental public health measures to try and blunt some of these surges, ultimately, we can get out of this. It isn't all despair, because we have public health measures that can help us and we have a vaccine on the way. "

He also stressed that the nation is in a crisis situation and that Americans shouldn't ignore that. 

"You can't fix a problem if you don't own the fact that you have a problem," said Fauci. "That's what we have got to do first, realize we have an issue that we need to deal with."

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, before heading to his first meeting with Joe Biden's transition team Thursday, said he fully expects to keep his job as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a position he's held through six presidential administrations....
fauci, covid, biden, coronavirus
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2020-39-03
Thursday, 03 December 2020 03:39 PM
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