Fauci To Meet With Biden's 'Landing' Team For First Time

Hayley Miller
·Senior reporter, HuffPost
·3 min read

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force, is slated to meet with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition landing team for the first time on Thursday.

Fauci, during an interview with CBS News’ “The Takeout” podcast, said the meeting via Zoom will mark the first “substantive” discussion between himself and representatives of the incoming administration.

“It’s fortuitous ... that in a couple of hours, I’m actually meeting with the entire, what we call landing team,” Fauci told host Major Garrett.

The nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition says landing teams “seek information that is necessary to help the president-elect’s transition team create a policy plan for the first 100 to 200 days of the new administration.”

“These teams will be interested in receiving an overview of hot-button issues facing the agency, pressing decisions that need to be made early in the new administration and opportunities to begin implementing the president’s agenda,” the center says in its 2020 agency transition guide.

The U.S. General Services Administration ― led by a Trump appointee ― formally initiated the transition process on Nov. 23, weeks after virtually all major media organizations projected Biden as the winner.

Even after the GSA finally ascertained Biden as president-elect, Trump has failed to concede, peddling baseless conspiracy theories alleging a “rigged” election and widespread voter fraud. His campaign has presented no evidence to support these claims.

Biden has argued the GSA’s delay will lead to more COVID-19 deaths because it reduced the time his representatives have to prepare coronavirus measures, including vaccine distribution plans, with Fauci’s team.

“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,” Fauci told CBS News on Thursday. “Everyone believes that a smooth transition is certainly better than no transition.”

Fauci said he’s spoken with Biden’s chief of staff, Ronald Klain, a couple of times in recent weeks, but said the conversations were not in depth. He said he hasn’t spoken to Biden, but plans to in the near future.

Fauci said he expects Biden will want him to continue advising the White House on the pandemic after the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration.

Fauci’s full interview with “The Takeout” is set to be released Friday.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.

Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.