'On the spot': Fauci confirms he immediately accepted Biden's offer for chief medical adviser
Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health. (AFP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirmed on Friday that he has accepted President-elect Joe Biden's offer to serve as chief medical adviser as the United States continues its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Fauci appeared on "The Today Show" where he told NBC host Savannah Guthrie that he accepted Biden's offer "on the spot." It has been reported that Fauci will continue his role as the director of the NIAID while leading the country's fight against COVID-19. At one point during the interview, Guthrie asked about the preliminary plan that will be put place during Biden's first 100 days in office.

"Is that enough or do you feel like that might put an artificial time limit on how long people need to be wearing masks?" Guthrie asked.

"No, he didn't mean it that way," Fauci responded. "What he wants, he just wants to get — and it's a good idea — uniform."

He added, "I discussed that with him and I told him I thought that was a good idea."


Fauci's remarks come less than on day after Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' first joint interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. During that interview, Biden also shared details about the offer to the nation's top infectious disease expert.

"I asked him to stay on the exact same role he's had for the past several presidents, and I asked him to be a chief medical adviser for me as well, and be part of the COVID team," Biden said of Fauci.

Biden's decision follows several strained months of contention between President Donald Trump and Fauci. On multiple occasions, Trump and Fauci have held completely different perspectives and beliefs regarding the spread of the virus and mitigation efforts to control it. Trump has often dismissed Fauci's concerns and guidance and guidance on public health and his supporters followed suit which subsequently led to the politicization of masks and the pandemic, itself.

As of Friday, Dec. 4, the United States has reported 14.5 million positive coronavirus cases and a death toll of 282,829.