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Fauci says he’d serve on Joe Biden’s coronavirus taskforce

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday he’s willing to serve on Joe Biden‘s Coronavirus Task Force should the president-elect want him and that he’s spoken to incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

‘Of course, yeah, the answer is absolutely,’ Fauci said during an interview on C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal,’ when asked if he’d serve on a Biden task force about the disease.  

The doctor, a specialist in infectious diseases, has become the public face of the crisis thanks to his work on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. 

He also revealed he’s talked to Klain about holding a meeting with the Biden transition team and the current administration’s task force.

Fauci – like all federal employees – was muzzled from talking to the Biden team until the General Services Administration gave a letter of ascertainment so the transition process could begin. That happened on Monday evening.

‘Well I’ve touched bases with Chief of Staff, Ron Klain. We didn’t have like a real substantive conversation about the nuts and bolts of things. We just wanted to touch base in preparation for soon – obviously – we’ll be getting the transition team and the task force hopefully to kind of give them the information that would make their assuming the responsibilities easier and more efficient,’ Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he’s willing to serve on Joe Biden’s Coronavirus Task Force should the president-elect want him

Joe Biden said Tuesday that he hasn't had a chance to speak to Dr. Anthony Fauci yet but his staff has spoken to the doctor and described him as 'very helpful'

Joe Biden said Tuesday that he hasn’t had a chance to speak to Dr. Anthony Fauci yet but his staff has spoken to the doctor and described him as ‘very helpful’

Biden said on Tuesday that he hasn’t had an opportunity to speak to Fauci yet but that his staff has spoken to the doctor.

‘My staff has. I haven’t had a chance to speak to Dr. Fauci. He’s been very, very helpful,’ Biden said.

He’s previously said he would ask Fauci to serve in his administration although he didn’t specify a role.  

Biden’s team will also soon meet with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. It’s unclear if that would include the entire task force, which includes Vice President Mike Pence, or just some of the career government staff – like Dr. Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx – who sit on the team.  

The president-elect has made it clear that combating the coronavirus is his top priority coming into office. 

Fauci, who has been muzzled at times by the current administration, said he has a ‘good’ relationship with President Donald Trump. 

‘I think that there’s this perception out there because of things that have been said that we don’t have a good relationship. I’ve had a good relationship with President Trump right from the beginning. I still do actually,’ he said. 

But Trump, during a campaign rally in Florida shortly before the elected, suggested he may fire Fauci if he won a second term. The two reportedly clashed when President Trump wanted to focus on reopening the nation’s economy while Fauci pushed for a continuation of some COVID restrictions. 

Fauci did a round of morning shows on Wednesday ahead of Thanksgiving to remind people to take care during the holiday season as coronavirus cases are on the rise in the country.

He warned people to follow CDC guidelines and hold small gatherings for Thanksgiving. 

‘The sacrifice now could save lives and illness and make the future much brighter as we get through this,’ he said on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’

‘We’ll get through this,’ he added. ‘Vaccines are right on the horizon. If we can just hang in there a little longer and continue to do the simple mitigation things we’re talking about all the time, the masks, the distancing, the avoiding crowds, particularly indoor. If we do those things we’ll get through it. That’s my final plea before the holiday.’

At least three COVID vaccines show remarkable efficacy, a promising result as America sees more than 12.7 million infections and more than 260,000 deaths. 

The candidates are in Phase 3 clinical trials, the last step before seeking the go-ahead from the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Fauci said he's already touched base with incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain

Dr. Fauci said he’s already touched base with incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, participated in a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting last wek

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, participated in a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting last wek

Fauci described his relationship with President Trump as 'good'

Fauci described his relationship with President Trump as ‘good’

Biden’s task force has pushed for access to the administration’s plan to distribute a COVID vaccine once one is approved – access that will be easier now that the transition process has begun. 

Biden told NBC News that federal government officials responded immediately after GSA approved the transition process.

‘Immediately we’ve gotten outreach from the National Security shop. From, just across the board,’ he said in an interview with Lester Holt for ‘The Nightly News.’

‘They’re already working out my ability to get Presidential Daily Briefs. We’re already working out meeting with the COVID team in the White House. And how to not only distribute, but get from a vaccine being distributed, to a person being able to get vaccinated. So I think we’re going to not be so far behind the curve, as we thought we might be in the past. And there’s a lot of immediate discussion, and I must say, the outreach has been sincere. There’s has not been begrudging so far. And I don’t expect it to be. So yes it’s already begun,’ Biden noted. 

The transition process has gone from lying in wait to moving at warp speed as officials make up for lost time. It’s been 16 days since the election was called and there’s only 57 days until the inauguration. 

Biden’s transition team has been in contact with all sectors of the federal government in the 24 hours sent Murphy sent her missive to the president-elect. The team wasn’t allowed contact or access to $6.3 million in transitions without Murphy’s approval.

About 20 meetings between transition staff and officials at federal agencies were held Tuesday, and more were scheduled in the days ahead, a Biden transition official told The Wall Street Journal

Career government workers have been ‘responsive, receptive and helpful,’ the transition official said. 

Trump has reluctantly conceded the transition process beginning but, in neither of his two public appearances on Tuesday, did he mention the election. 


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