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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Biden asks Fauci to stay on, become chief medical advisor in new administration

Fauci to stay on at NIH, defends FDA process for approving vaccine
Posted at 3:34 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 17:38:55-05

President-elect Joe Biden has asked Dr. Anthony Fauci to remain in his role at the National Institutes of Health, and to become a chief medical adviser to the Biden administration.

"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 Thursday during a joint interview with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on CNN.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Fauci said he planned on staying in his role as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a position he's held since 1984 under several presidents.

He has become a recognizable face and scientific voice of reason and warning in 2020 as a member of the White House coronavirus task force and frequent media guest to talk about the current state of the pandemic, next steps and hope for the future.

It was during an interview with CBS News’ Major Garrett that Fauci made the comment he fully expects to stay on at the NIH. He also said he was looking forward to Thursday afternoon's first virtual meeting with Biden and his coronavirus team.

Fauci has had a rocky relationship with President Donald Trump, as the president flouted recommendations from Fauci and other health leaders.

Biden said his incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, worked with Dr. Fauci during the Ebola crisis in 2014 and had been talking to him "all the time."

During media interviews Thursday, Fauci also addressed comments some have made about the FDA not approving the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for emergency use yet, even though the UK’s equivalent has.

“We have the gold standard of a regulatory approach with the FDA,” Fauci said on Fox News Thursday. “The U.K. did not do it as carefully, they got a couple of days ahead. I don’t think that makes much difference. We’ll be there very soon.”

Biden is expected to announce his picks for health positions next week, including the leads at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.