US election 2020: Will Anthony Fauci advise Joe Biden?

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Joe Biden captured the presidency from Donald Trump this year following a protracted race which handed him nearly 80 million votes. His victory came off the back of promises to Americans for an executive change in tack regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues. Mr Biden has promised to trust the scientists as he comes into office, the most senior of whom, Anthony Fauci, has received little more than pushback from President Trump.

Will Anthony Fauci advise Joe Biden?

Since becoming President-Elect, Mr Biden has wasted no time in enlisting members of a new coronavirus task force.

His advisory board includes a former US Surgeon General, immunology and epidemiology experts, and a former FDA commissioner.

But one name notably left off the list of future Biden officials was Anthony Fauci, Mr Trump’s lead pandemic coordinator.

Mr Fauci is a career epidemiologist, having served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

He became the de facto public health spokesperson for the White House when the COVID-19 pandemic flared up but is one of several officials in Mr Trump’s task force.

Mr Biden has long echoed his calls for social distancing and mask-wearing.

But Mr Fauci believes he hasn’t yet received a call from Mr Biden’s representatives due to his current duties.

Speaking to USA Today, he said he wasn’t aware of any rules preventing contact.

But he added he was conscious of the situation surrounding the transfer of power.

He said he would continue to serve the US from his position as a public servant away from party politics.

Dr Fauci said: “I have not been formally told that anything is forbidden.”

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“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.”

He added: “To be honest with you, I believe that the Biden people including Ron Klain understand that and don’t want to put me in a compromised position.”

In all likelihood, Mr Fauci will receive communications from Mr Biden’s team when the transition process starts in earnest.

However, President Trump continues in his refusal to concede the election to Mr Biden and has lodged legal challenges in several states to dispute ballots.

Mr Biden’s transition to the presidency has not progressed in the way others have, and Mr Fauci weighed in on how vital a smooth one is.

He said: “I can tell you, transitions are really important, and they’re important because you don’t want to miss a step.

“You’re all running together. And you pass the baton.

“That’s what a smooth transition is. It’s very, very much like a relay race.”

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