"I'm going to be meeting with them today, by Zoom, by virtually. So today will be the first day where there will be substantive discussions about the transition between me and the Biden team," Dr Fauci told CBS News's Major Garrett on the Takeout Podcast. "I'm very pleased that today we're having the first discussion about a number of things, vaccinations and things like that."
The infectious disease expert has not spoken directly to President-elect Joe Biden since he was projected as the winner of the 2020 election. Instead Dr Fauci said he’s had several conversations with Mr Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, in recent weeks about the pandemic, but that none of these talks were “substantive”.
This would now change with the expert speaking directly to Mr Biden’s “landing team” about the transition to a Biden administration and what it will mean for the government’s coronavirus response.
Meeting with the team comes one day after the US recorded its single deadliest day from the coronavirus since the pandemic started. More than 2,800 people died from the novel virus on Wednesday, a new record. Also, the number of patients in hospitals with Covid-19 was at its highest since the start of the pandemic – 100,226, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Transitioning to the Biden administration has been slower compared to past presidential transitions due to Donald Trump refusing to accept the election results. This has resulted in his administration providing little help to the incoming Biden administration.
Dr Fauci expressed regret the transition period did not happen earlier when speaking to Mr Garrett.
"I would have liked to have seen us getting involved with the team as early as we possibly can because we want the smooth transition to occur," he said. "Everyone believes that a smooth transition is certainly better than no transition."
Public health officials have warned the coming months will get worse in the US with cases, hospitalisations, and deaths spiking due to the novel virus ahead of the holidays.
Mr Trump has faced scrutiny in recent weeks for seemingly abandoning his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The president has celebrated the positive results from several vaccine trials, but he’s otherwise ignored the current surge of the virus.
Although a coronavirus vaccine on the horizon was welcomed news, experts warned the jab would not help the current surge of cases, hospitalisations, and deaths – as the vast majority of the public will likely not receive the doses until spring 2021 at the earliest.
Health experts are asking Americans to wear masks, follow social distancing guidelines, and avoid large gatherings like holiday get togethers to help curb the spread of Covid-19.