- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday on CNN it would be "better" if he and other public health officials were able to work with the Biden transition team.
- Since he has refused to officially concede his loss in the 2020 presidential election, President Donald Trump has circumvented the typically smooth transition of power between an outgoing and incoming administration.
- "It's almost like passing the baton in a race," Fauci said Sunday. "You don't want to stop and give it to somebody, you want to keep things going."
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and leading coronavirus expert in the US, said Sunday that it would be "better" for public health if he and other health officials could begin working with the president-elect's transition team.
"I've been through multiple transitions now having served six presidents for 36 years, and it's very clear that transition process we go through — that time period measured in several weeks to months — is really important in a smooth handing over of the information," Fauci said during an appearance Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
Fauci said the Trump administration's cooperation with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team in the coming months would "make things [go] more smoothly" as the US continues to face the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's almost like passing the baton in a race," Fauci said. "You don't want to stop and give it to somebody, you want to keep things going. That's what transition is. So it certainly would make things more smoothly if we could do that."
"State of the Union" moderator Jake Tapper asked Fauci if it would specifically be beneficial from a public health standpoint if health officials, like Fauci, could begin working with the Biden team.
"That's obvious," Fauci responded. "Of course it would be better if we could start working with them."
Trump has so far refused to officially concede the election, though for the first time early Sunday acknowledged in a tweet that Biden won the election, falsely claiming that his win was the result of a rigged election. In a subsequent tweet, he later clarified that he hadn't conceded the race.
Last week, the president-elect unveiled the 13 people who will comprise his COVID-19 advisory board. The group is co-chaired by a former surgeon general, a former FDA commissioner, and a Yale professor, Business Insider previously reported.
Trump, meanwhile, has reportedly not attended a meeting of the White House coronavirus task force in several months as the disease surges in the US, forcing states to react by implementing new mitigation measures like limits on gatherings and statewide mask mandates.
According to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University, there have been at least 10.9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US and 245,646 deaths.
Also during the Sunday interview, Fauci called a nationwide lockdown order, which Trump has long resisted, unlikely, calling for the doubling down of mitigation measures like social distancing, hand washing, and patience until a vaccine could be widely distributed.
"We're not going to get a national lockdown, I think that's very clear," he said. "But I think what we're going to start seeing in the local levels, be they governors or mayors or people at the local level, will do as you said, very surgical-type of restrictions, which are the functional equivalent of a local lockdown."
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