US President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday that he asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to continue in his role and work with his administration.  

“I asked him to stay on in 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 told CNN.

Fauci spoke with Biden and members of his transition team Thursday afternoon, the network reported. The top health official had initial talks with Biden’s aides, including Ron Klain, his pick for White House chief of staff.

Fauci has been leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and served under six US presidents.

In January, he was picked as a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force formed to monitor, contain and mitigate the spread of the virus.

Fauci and Trump have been at odds over the response against the disease, with the former repeatedly urging Americans to stay at home and wear a face mask.

The news came as the country continues to report more cases and hospitalizations while two vaccine candidates are pending approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization.

US biotech firm Moderna plans to make 20 million doses available by the end of the year, and it wants to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021.

The Trump administration ordered 100 million doses from American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, as part of its Operation Warp Speed to get the COVID-19 vaccine to Americans.

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