Fauci: Last Trump virus meeting months ago

Clay Curtis
November 16, 2020

Joe Biden's scientific advisers will meet with vaccine makers in coming days as the presidential transition remains stalled because of President Donald Trump's refusal to acknowledge that he lost the election. Biden's team has said the transition is progressing in spite of Trump, but officials have acknowledged the longer the delay goes on, the worse its effects will be.

During a virtual Q&A session with the editor-in-chief of the medical journal JAMA, Fauci said the companies are likely to have enough data by December to recommend to the independent safety oversight committee to seek emergency approval, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will not grant such approval until January at the earliest.

"For the country's sake, it's important for a normal transition to start through", he added. "We should respect that, but we also need to begin that process".

"It is conceivable, though not absolute, that you may need to boost people every once in a while after the vaccine, which is fine", he said.

"We learned a lot more since then", he added. "It can't wait to the last minute". An influential COVID-19 model projects the US death toll may reach 439,000 by March 1. So far, almost 250,000 Americans have died due to the virus.

Drugmaker Pfizer announced last week that tests of its vaccine show it is more than 90% effective. But Fauci said caution should not be abandoned once people are vaccinated.

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Health experts and lawmakers are urging people to stay vigilant and continue to follow public health measures. "I could feel more relaxed, in essentially not having the stringency of it that we have right now, but I think abandoning it completely would not be a good idea".

"I think, first and foremost, hiring Ron Klain as his chief of staff, who had been his previous chief of staff as vice president, but also was the person who handled the Ebola response and did a phenomenal job", Ryan responded.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Fauci says when we can gather together again freely depends on a number of factors. "We developed therapies. We put out the outbreak in a - it was a bad outbreak, obviously. That has to be a seamless transition", Klain told NBC News.

"Joe Biden's going to become president of the United States in the midst of an ongoing crisis".

Fauci and another coronavirus official, Admiral Brett Giroir of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, both said that it has been "several months" since Trump met with the White House coronavirus task force, which is headed by Vice President Mike Pence.

"That's absolutely critically important", he said.

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