Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to serve as chief medical adviser 'right on the spot'

Top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Delta variant's UK dominance sparks concerns in US Overnight Health Care: FDA says millions of J&J doses from troubled plant must be thrown out | WHO warns Africa falling far behind in vaccinations | Top CDC official says US not ready for next pandemic MORE on Friday said he said “yes right on the spot” to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE’s offer to serve as his chief medical adviser.

“Absolutely, I said yes right on the spot,” Fauci told NBC's “Today” show host Savannah Guthrie.

He will continue serving as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a role he has held through six presidential administrations, while also leading the country's efforts against the coronavirus pandemic.


Biden on Thursday told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperMississippi governor: Biden goal of 70 percent of US vaccinated by July 4 is 'arbitrary' Energy secretary: Adversaries have capability of shutting down US power grid King: 'There has to be trust' between government, companies following cyberattacks MORE about the offer during his first joint interview with Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisLara Trump calls on Americans at border to 'arm up and get guns and be ready' The press has its own border problem Meghan McCain: Harris 'sounded like a moron' discussing immigration MORE since the election. 

"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 of Fauci.  

Guthrie also asked Fauci about Biden’s plan to ask Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office.


“Is that enough or do you feel like that might put an artificial time limit on how long people need to be wearing masks?” Guthrie asked.

“No, he didn’t mean it that way,” Fauci responded. “What he wants, he just wants to get — and it's a good idea — uniform.”

Fauci added that after the first 100 days, masks might still be needed to stem the spread of the virus but Biden wants commitment from the American people for a structured time frame. 

“I discussed that with him and I told him I thought that was a good idea,” Fauci concluded.

While Biden wants everyone to wear masks, he will not have the constitutional authority to directly order a nationwide mask mandate.

Fauci is one of the most prominent members of President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE's coronavirus task force and polls show he is among the most trusted public officials when it comes to the coronavirus.

He has publicly contradicted Trump’s remarks about the pandemic and criticized his disregard for public health guidelines by holding large campaign rallies — a stance that has made him a frequent target of criticism from the president’s allies and supporters.

Trump suggested at his final campaign rally last month that he may attempt to fire Fauci following the election.