Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has now begun to argue that President Trump’s refusal to concede and allow a White House transition could delay a vaccine rollout.
In an interview with NBC’s “Today,” Fauci said that he was “concerned” about a delayed transition of power.
“It’s obviously something that we are concerned about,” said Fauci. “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, essentially, as I use the metaphor, essentially passing a baton without stopping running. You just want things to go very smoothly. So hopefully, we’ll see that soon. And transitions are important.”
Fauci added the virus will not take a “time out” as President Trump resolves his legal disputes over the election. Regarding the transfer of power, Fauci said, “The virus is not going to stop and call a time out while things change. The virus is just going to keep going. The process is just going to keep going.”
Fauci noted that the two vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are quite effective.
“This is something that just is now going in the very, very strong, right direction. The vaccines are effective. 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,” he asserted. “We want a smooth process for that,” Fauci said. “And the way you do that is by essentially having the two groups speak to each other and exchange information.”
“Now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective.”
Watch @SavannahGuthrie’s full interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci about the new coronavirus vaccine candidate results from Moderna, battling COVID fatigue, and the importance of a smooth White House transition. pic.twitter.com/mosSOEyMzo
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 16, 2020
Fauci made his comments regarding the transition of power after telling Americans to do what they are told in spite of their “independent spirit.”
“I was talking with my U.K. colleagues who are saying the U.K. is similar to where we are now, because each of our countries have that independent spirit,” Fauci said while speaking at Washington National Cathedral. “I can understand that, but now is the time to do what you’re told.”
Despite his confidence in a vaccine, Fauci told CNN anchor Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that he recommends public health measures be in place for a while even after the COVID-19 vaccine has been implemented.
“I would recommend to people to not to abandon all public health measures just because you’ve been vaccinated,” Fauci said. “Because even though for the general population it might be 90 to 95 percent effective, you don’t necessarily know for you how effective it is.”
“I can feel more relaxed in essentially not having the stringency that we have right now, but I think abandoning it completely would not be a good idea,” he added. “It’s not going to be a light switch, Jake. We’re not going to turn it on and off, going from where we are to completely normal. … It’s going to be a gradual accrual of more normality as the weeks and the months go by as we get well into 2021.”
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