Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director and one of America's leading infectious disease experts, will be Biden's chief medical adviser when he enters the White House in January. Biden revealed to CNN on Thursday that he had asked Fauci, who is part of Trump's coronavirus task force, to also be part of his own COVID-19 response team.
"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 said.
On Friday, Fauci said during an interview on NBC's Today show that he said yes to Biden "on the spot." Biden's COVID-19 team met with Fauci for the first time this week. He'll be joining an advisory board that consists entirely of health experts, led by former Surgeon General Viviek Murthy, associate professor of medicine at Yale University Marcella Nunez-Smith, and former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler.
The news comes as Biden has suggested that he'll take a COVID-19 vaccine once Fauci can assure it's safe to do so. "When Dr. Fauci says 'we have a vaccine that is safe,' that's the moment at which I will stand before the public, and say [I'll take the vaccine]," he told CNN on Thursday. "It matters what a president and a vice-president do." He did caution, however, that some of the American public "have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work."
In a November poll from Gallup, it was suggested that only 58 percent of Americans would take a coronavirus vaccine if it was available to them immediately at no cost. "It's important to communicate to the American people 'it's safe, it's safe to do this,'" Biden added. "We have to make it clear to the American people that the vaccine is safe when that is determined."
This week, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton offered to get a coronavirus vaccine publicly to prove that it's safe when it's made available. "I promise you that when it's been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it," Obama said on a recent appearance on SiriusXM's The Joe Madison Show. "I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science."