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Fauci 'concerned' about slow transition between Trump and Biden

Fauci 'concerned' about slow transition between Trump and Biden
© getty: Anthony Fauci

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCOVID-19 is a precursor for infectious disease outbreaks on a warming planet Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Fauci: Approval of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines likely 'weeks away' MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, on Monday said he's "concerned" about the stalled transition process between President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE and President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries MORE.

"Obviously it's something that we're concerned about," he said in an appearance on NBC's "Today," pointing to the need for a "smooth process" for approving and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine.

"We want a smooth process for that," he said. "And the way you do that is by essentially having the two groups speak to each other and exchange information."

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Trump, who has not conceded the presidential election, is not providing Biden's team access to government resources. Biden is not yet receiving intelligence briefs or interacting with other government agencies.

"As you know, I've served in six administrations, so I've seen a number of transitions and I know that transitions are very important to get a smooth — I use the metaphor of passing a baton while running. Hopefully, we'll see that soon. Transitions are important," Fauci said.

"The virus is not going to stop and call a timeout while things change. The process is just going to keep going," he added.

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The U.S. just reported more than a million new COVID-19 cases in less than a week. However, Fauci said he's optimistic about progress toward a vaccine.

He noted that Monday's report that Moderna's vaccine is 94.5 percent effective in the latest round of testing is "a really strong step forward."

"The vaccines are effective," he said, also pointing to Pfizer's recent report of a 90 percent effective vaccine attempt. "We want to get it approved as quickly as we possibly can. We want to get doses to people starting in December. And then we want to really get the ball rolling as we get into January, February, March."

He predicted by the end of December "there will be doses of vaccines available for individuals in the higher-risk category."