US President-elect Joe Biden wants Dr. Anthony Fauci to be part of his administration's COVID-19 response team, bringing continuity to the country's efforts to fight a once-in-a-century pandemic. On Friday, Fauci told the Today show that he accepted the offer "right on the spot."
"Oh, absolutely. I said yes right on the spot," said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, when asked about Biden's offer to serve as chief medical adviser in the new administration, which takes over on Jan. 20.
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Biden said he asked Fauci to continue to lead NIAID and join the COVID-19 response team.
"I asked him to stay on in the exact same role he's had for the past several presidents," Biden said. "I asked him to be a chief medical adviser for me as well and be part of theteam."
Fauci is a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force but has frequently come under fire from Trump for his science-backed recommendations to help slow the spread.
In the US, more than 276,000 people have died from COVID-19 and more than 14 million cases have been confirmed, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard.
Biden added he will get a coronavirus vaccination publicly once it is approved as an effort to restore "faith in the ability of the vaccine to work." The president-elect's comments mirror offers earlier this week from.
Biden also said he will ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days. On Friday, Fauci said he spoke to Biden about the 100-day mask plan and thought it was a "good idea."
The president-elect called a $900 billionbill now before Congress a "good start." He said his administration will ask for more money to address the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.
"People are really hurting," Biden said. "They're scared to death."
CNET's Andrew Morse contributed to this report.
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