Dr. Anthony Fauci said he accepted ‘on the spot’ an offer from Joe Biden to be his chief medical adviser and warned Americans may continue to need to wear face masks beyond the 100 days the president-elect advocated.
‘I said yes right on the spot,’ Fauci told NBC’s ‘Today Show’ on Friday morning about Biden’s offer. Fauci also will remain the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
He also praised Biden’s plan to ask Americans to wear face masks for 100 days but said it may need to go beyond that.
‘It’s a good idea,’ Fauci said. ‘He’s saying hey, folks, trust me, everybody for 100 days. Now it might be that after that we’re still going to need it but he just wants everybody for a commitment for 100 days. I told him I thought that was a good idea.’
The infectious disease expert also praised former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama for willing to get vaccinated in public once a COVID cure is ready.
And he said more public figures should do the same.
‘I think as many people who the public can relate to. And the public relates to different types of people. Some relate to presidents, some to sports figures, some to entertainers – anyone that can build the confidence in the public about getting vaccine would be a good thing because we really do have to get as many people as possible vaccinated. Having an extraordinarily efficacious vaccine, like we do have for sure, 94, 95%, doesn’t mean anything if people doesn’t get vaccinated. And that’s the reason we’re pushing really the envelope on that,’ Fauci said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said he accepted ‘on the spot’ an offer from Joe Biden to be his chief medical adviser
Biden said in an interview on Thursday night he will ask Americans to mask up for 100 days as soon as he takes the oath of office.
‘On the first day I’m inaugurated I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask – just 100 days to mask. Not forever,’ Biden told CNN‘s Jake Tapper on Thursday.
‘And I think we’ll see a significant reduction’ in COVID cases when that happens, he said.
Inauguration Day is January 20th. Biden has pushed for Americans to wear the face coverings, even suggesting he may do a national mandate, to combat the disease.
His call came as the United States recorded 3,156 deaths on Wednesday, the highest single-day death toll to date – which accounts for one death every 30 seconds. On Wednesday, hospitalizations hit more than 100,000 for the first time since the pandemic and the daily number of new cases surpassed 200,000.
The United States is averaging 179,171 cases per day and 1,826 deaths per day over the last week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face masks ‘in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.’
But some have turned it into an issue of political freedom, saying they don’t want to be ‘forced’ to wear one. President Donald Trump has been reluctant to wear a face covering in public – although he has worn one in mandatory situations – and his campaign rallies featured thousands of people free of face coverings. His team argued wearing a face mask is a personal choice.
President-elect Joe Biden said he will ask Americans to mask up for 100 days as soon as he takes the oath of office, which is on January 20th
The president-elect also revealed he’s spoken to Fauci and asked him to stay in his current job along with playing a senior role in his administration.
‘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.
Biden added that Ron Klain, his incoming chief of staff, knew Fauci well and had been talking to him ‘all the time.’
Fauci has clashed at times with Donald Trump as the president has made such suggestions as injecting bleach in oneself to combat the coronavirus and pushed for an economic recovery ahead of medical advice.
But the doctor, who was an early expert on the AIDS crisis, has become a public hero and trusted face of the disease as cases rise across the nation.
Experts have warned the coming winter months will be difficult and cases of the disease will continue to rise.
‘The reality is, December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that’s going to be put on our health care system,’ CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said.
Biden said he’d be ‘happy’ to take a COVID vaccine once Fauci says it’s safe to do so and that he’d take it publicly to demonstrate his confidence in it.
‘People have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work. Already the numbers are really staggeringly low, and it matters what the President and Vice President do,’ he said.
All three former presidents – Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton – said they would publicly take a COVID vaccine to instill confidence in it
His comments come the day after three of his presidential predecessors- Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – said they would publicly get the coronavirus vaccine as a way to demonstrate its safety and efficacy.
‘I think that my three predecessors have set the model as to what should be done, saying, once it’s declared to be safe … then obviously we take it and it’s important to communicate to the American people,’ Biden said.
There are at least three possible COVID vaccines showing strong signs of efficacy.
And the Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a meeting for Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer’s request for emergency use authorization.
Meanwhile, lock downs are on the horizon for some parts of the country as cases grow.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a new stay-at-home order for regions where fewer than 15 percent of intensive care unit beds are available.
The new order divides the state into five regions – none of which currently meet the threshold for the new restrictions.
However Newsom said four out of five regions – Greater Sacramento, Northern California, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California – are on track to hit that threshold within a few days and the fifth – the Bay Area – is expected to meet it by the middle of the month.
When they do surpass 85 percent capacity, the state will order affected regions to close hair salons and barber shops, limit retail stores to 20 percent capacity and only allow restaurants to offer take-out and delivery for at least three weeks.