Dr. Anthony Fauci sat down with Jake Tapper amid a U.S. surge in COVID cases to talk about where things stand and what he expects going forward.
“How problematic is it for the fight against the coronavirus if the NIH and your agency and other government experts are not able to begin communicating with President-Elect Biden’s team?” asked Tapper.
“I’ve been through multiple transitions now having served with six presidents for 36 years,” Fauci replied. “And it’s very clear that that transition process that we go through … is really important in a smooth handing over of the information. It’s almost like passing a baton in a race, you don’t want to stop and give it to somebody, you want to essentially keep going, and that is what transition is, so it certainly would make things more smoothly if we could do that.”
Replied Tapper: “So just as a public health measure, you think it would be a good idea if your team would be able to work with the Biden/Harris transition team right now, just in terms of what is best for the public health of the American people?”
“Of course Jake. That’s obvious,” Fauci replied. “Of course it would be better if we could start working with them.”
Fauci also said “it is possible” that we could have another 200,000 COVID deaths in the next four months.
Fauci was asked about a 2014 interview in which he had said, “I’ve never had an experience where a president is telling me to tell him something that he wants to hear.”
“I guess you can’t say that anymore,” said Tapper.
Replied Fauci: “I’ve been as transparent and open with telling the administration the facts. What they do with it is a different story, but I certainly have not held back from giving my advice and recommendation based on the facts and the data. That hasn’t changed from 2014. That hasn’t changed for 36 years I’ve been doing this.”
“No of course not,” Tapper laughed. “It’s just that this is the only time it’s gotten you into hot water.”
Fauci was also asked how history will remember the U.S. COVID response.
“Obviously, it’s not going to be a good report,” said Fauci. “I think we’re going to need a real academic analysis of the multifaceted issues that went into this.”