- Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has reached out to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition staff, Bloomberg reported.
- “I haven’t had a chance to speak to Dr. Fauci,” Biden said Tuesday, but Fauci himself confirmed to CNN that he has been talking to the president-elect’s staff.
- The news comes a day after the General Services Administration recognized Biden as the apparent president-elect.
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A day after being recognized as the apparent next president of the United States by a Trump official, Joe Biden said Tuesday that his staff has been in touch with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease expert.
Biden said he has not “had a chance to speak to Dr. Fauci” yet himself, but Bloomberg reported that Fauci has spoken to Biden’s transition team.
“He’s been very, very helpful,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday.
Fauci later told CNN that he has indeed reached out to Biden’s staff. The network reported that the dialogue has consisted of “preliminary conversations.”
The news comes a day after the US General Services Administration, headed by Trump political appointee Emily Murphy, formally agreed to provide resources to the president-elect’s transition.
It also comes as the US may be entering the darkest stage yet of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, more than 88,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, “reaching a new all-time high for the 15th consecutive day,” according to The Covid Tracking Project. More than 2,000 new deaths were also reported.
Prior to the GSA providing resources to the Biden transition, the president-elect’s team had not been in contact with Fauci, which the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases believed may have been because of the fraught politics around the delayed transition.
In an interview last week with USA Today’s editorial board, Fauci explained, “But it’s quite obvious that this is a very sensitive period. I don’t want to get into that. I have tried to the best of my ability to stay out of the political aspects and just focus on my role as a public health person, a physician, and a scientist.”
“To be honest with you,” he added, “I believe that the Biden people including Ron Klain [Biden’s chief of staff] understand that and don’t want to put me in a compromised position.”
Fauci has held his position at the NIAID since 1984 and has served through six administrations.
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