“You pass the baton. That’s what a smooth transition is. It’s very, very much like a relay race.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci
Nov 18, 2020
USA TODAY – Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday he wants to begin talks with President-elect Joe Biden to ensure a smooth transition for the new administration but believes the Biden team is wary of putting him in a “compromised position” as President Donald Trump refuses to concede the election.
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, hasn’t spoken to Biden as the U.S. battles a significant spike in the coronavirus pandemic and the president-elect looks to start working on his plan to combat the virus.
Referring to the lack of communications from the Biden team including Ron Klain, Biden’s newly named chief of staff, Fauci told USA TODAY’s Editorial Board:
“I have not been formally told that anything is forbidden. 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.”
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 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.”
Biden, who has told the public to prepare for a “dark winter” as COVID-19 spreads, warned this week, “More people may die if we don’t coordinate.”
Fauci, who has served under six presidential administrations, has been a part of five transitions.
But he’s drawn regular criticism from supporters of Trump and increasingly the president himself, who slammed Fauci as a “disaster” two weeks before the election.
“I can tell you, transitions are really important, and they’re important because you don’t want to miss a step,” Fauci said.
Fauci likened a smooth transition to a relay race in which runners pass the baton as they continue to run, not from a standstill … Read more.
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