Last week, President-elect Joe Biden asked infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci to be his chief medical adviser. Dr. Fauci wasted no time answering.
“Absolutely, I said yes right on the spot,” Fauci told NBC‘s “Today” show.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the last 36 years, has been the lead U.S. expert on the coronavirus pandemic. However, he has repeatedly clashed with outgoing President Donald Trump. The issues between the two has led Trump to say he would fire Fauci more than once.
Will you accept President-elect Biden's offer to serve as his chief medical adviser? –@SavannahGuthrie
Absolutely, I said yes right on the spot. -Dr. Anthony Fauci pic.twitter.com/lHr3z1v3vo
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 4, 2020
During his first press event after being named president-elect, Biden said he will unveil a plan to get Americans to wear face masks for 100 straight days.
“The first day I’m inaugurated to say I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days,” Biden said in November. “And I think we’ll see a significant reduction if we occur that, if that occurs with vaccinations and masking to drive down the numbers considerably.”
The coronavirus pandemic has returned with a vengeance after cases and deaths fell during a summer defined by the Black Lives Matter and the Defund The Police movements. Hospitals in Colorado, North Dakota and Utah are already dealing with shortages in staffing, equipment and space.
“What we see now is just the beginning of the post-Thanksgiving peak,” Eric Toner, senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security told USA Today. “It’s going to be huge and it’s going to be awful.”
Throughout his campaign, Biden showed support for Fauci, urging Americans to take his advice on face masks and social distancing seriously. Biden also talked with Fauci about building trust and confidence in a vaccine and how to stop the spread without completely shutting down the country and economy.
Fauci has warned Americans to strap in tight for a tumultuous January as the country is setting daily case records and is closing in on 200,000 new cases a day.
There are currently more than 14.7 million coronavirus cases across the U.S and more than 282,000 people have succumbed to the virus.