Healthcare

Fauci says he has not talked to Biden: He doesn’t want to ‘put me in a compromised position’

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Dr. Anthony Fauci

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Wednesday that he has not spoken with President-elect Joe Biden since he was projected the winner of the election, speculating the former vice president does not want to put him in a “compromised position” with respect to President Trump.

“I have not been formally told that anything is forbidden,” Fauci told USA Today’s editorial board with regard to communications with the Biden team. “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. “I believe that the Biden people including [chief of staff] Ron Klain understand that and don’t want to put me in a compromised position.”

Fauci has served in his position since 1984, a period that has included five presidential transitions. However, Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the results of the election and his attacks on Fauci for contradicting him on the coronavirus pandemic have made the current transition period tenuous. 

Fauci told the newspaper that then-President Obama’s chief of staff Denis McDonough arranged a meeting with his incoming successor Reince Priebus to discuss planning for a potential disease outbreak.

“That kind of thing makes it easier to just go from one to the other,” Fauci told USA Today. “So yes, I wish we would be able to do that. That would be helpful.”

The General Services Administration has refused to sign off on transition funds for the Biden team, which public health experts say are costing the incoming administration vital time in preparing to respond to the pandemic. In the meantime, the Biden team has moved forward with creating a 13-member coronavirus task force including former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

Tags Anthony Fauci Biden transition Coronavirus Denis McDonough Donald Trump Joe Biden Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign Reince Priebus Ron Klain Vivek Murthy White House coronavirus task force
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