Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said Wednesday he would continue that role once President Trump leaves office if asked to stay by presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s administration.
The longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was asked on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” program whether he would serve on a similar task force under Mr. Biden.
“Of course,” Dr. Fauci said. “The answer is absolutely.”
Dr. Fauci added he has touched base with Ronald A. Klain, Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, but said he has yet to have a substantive discussion with the incoming administration about the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Dr. Fauci said.
Dr. Fauci has been a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force under Mr. Trump since the start of the continuing novel coronavirus pandemic that has killed a quarter-million Americans.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized the infectious disease expert over his handling of the outbreak and previously hinted at possibly firing him after Election Day.
“I don’t think that that would be helpful to what our common goal of all of us are, no matter who you are, regardless of what administration,” Dr. Fauci previously said about potentially being fired.
Mr. Biden, a Democrat, is set to succeed Mr. Trump, a Republican, in light of preliminary election results making him the winner of the recent White House race. Mr. Trump has not conceded and has been challenging the results in court.
Inauguration Day is Jan. 20, 2021. The following day marks a full year since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first domestic case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
More than 12.6 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S. in the months since, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nationwide, more than 260,000 people have died from it and over 4.6 million have recovered. The U.S. has a population of almost 330 million.
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