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Anthony Fauci to meet with Joe Biden’s Covid transition team for first time

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci speaks with Vice President Mike Pence as they participate in a news briefing with member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Thursday, Nov 19, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Disease, will meet with members of President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus pandemic response team for the first time Thursday, a transition official told CNBC.

The virtual meeting marks a significant step towards full coordination between the Biden transition’s Covid “landing team” and the top officials directing the federal government’s current pandemic response.

Fauci has already spoken with incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain, but Thursday’s meeting, first reported by CNN, will be the first time that Fauci formally briefs Biden’s Covid team.

The nation’s foremost infectious disease expert has previously said he plans to remain in his post at NIAID for the foreseeable future. Nine months into the coronavirus pandemic, the nation is currently experiencing its worst phase yet, with more than 200,000 cases reported on Wednesday this week, and a record 2,800 deaths.

The meeting between Fauci and Biden’s advisors is occurring later in the year than many would have hoped. This is chiefly due to President Donald Trump’s refusal to greenlight the start of a formal transition process until last week, and his broader refusal to accept his loss in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Dr. Deborah Birx, who coordinates the White House coronavirus task force, is also reportedly planning to begin formal coordination with the Biden transition team this week.

This is a developing story; please check back for updates.