Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a leader in the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, will join President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
Biden told CNN on Thursday that he asked Fauci to become his chief medical adviser and part of his COVID-19 response team. On Friday, Fauci told NBC’s “Today” he accepted the position.
“Oh, absolutely. I said yes right on the spot,” Fauci said when asked if he’d taken the role.
Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff, praised Fauci in a tweet.
“There are few public servants in our history who have served as long and as well and with as much distinction at (sic) Dr. Tony Fauci. It will be a great honor to work with him again,” he wrote.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a top official dealing with the pandemic. But President Donald Trump sidelined him at points during the year after Fauci’s stark warnings about the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and halting large-scale gatherings.
“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.