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Biden asked Fauci to be his chief medical advisor, and Fauci said yes 'on the spot'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 12/4/2020 insider@insider.com (Grace Dean)
Joe Biden, Anthony S. Fauci are posing for a picture: President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Mark Makela/Getty Images, Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Mark Makela/Getty Images, Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images
  • President-elect Joe Biden asked Dr. Anthony Fauci to be his chief medical advisor on Thursday, he told CNN.
  • Fauci told NBC on Friday morning that he said yes "on the spot."
  • Biden's coronavirus team met with Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for the first time Thursday.
  • Relations between Fauci and President Donald Trump have soured over the pandemic. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will be President-elect Joe Biden's chief medical advisor once Biden enters the White House in January.

Biden told CNN on Thursday that he had asked Fauci to take up the role.

Fauci told NBC's "Today" show on Friday that he had said yes "on the spot."

Biden's coronavirus team met with Fauci for the first time Thursday.

"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 told CNN.

Biden unveiled his 13-person coronavirus advisory board in November. The panel will be led by three chairs: Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general; Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine at Yale University; and David Kessler, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner.

Biden also added that he'd take a COVID-19 vaccine when it was safe, as he suggested the public was "losing faith" in a shot.

Relations between Fauci and President Donald Trump have soured during the pandemic. Trump has been reluctant to support mask mandates or restrictions that might cause economic damage, and he is said to have not attended a meeting of the coronavirus task force in five months.

Trump also helped stall the presidential transition, making it hard until recently for Biden's team to communicate with Fauci and other public-health officials.

Fauci spoke out against this in November, saying said it would be "better" for public health if he and other health officials could begin working with the president-elect's transition team.

Read more: Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in the White House and federal agencies. Here's how you can boost your chances getting a job in the new administration, according to 3 experts.

Fauci has also accused the Trump campaign of "in effect harassing" him after using a clip of his praising the US's coronavirus response out of context in a campaign ad.

The US has recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths of any country. Almost 14 million Americans have tested positive for the virus, and more than 273,000 COVID-19 deaths have been reported, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Fauci said Thursday marked the first day of "substantive discussions" about the transition between him and Biden's team.

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