“It’s only 100 days of masking, not forever. 100 days. And I think we’re going to see a significant drop,” Biden told Tapper in his first joint interview with Kamala Harris, elected vice president, since winning the election.
Biden said that where he has authority, such as in federal buildings or in interstate transportation on planes and buses, he issues a permanent decision that he should wear a mask.
Biden also said he had invited Dr. Anthony Faucit as chief health consultant and part of Covid-19’s response team when his administration begins next year.
Biden said the conversation took place Thursday afternoon. CNN reported earlier in the day that Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus working group, had a scheduled meeting with Biden’s transition team.
“I asked him to stay on the same job as the previous several presidents, and I asked him to have a chief medical advisor with me and be part of the Covid team,” Biden told Tapper.
Biden added that Ron Klain, his incoming chief of staff, knew Fauci well and spoke to him “constantly.”
Fauci has had a complicated relationship with Trump since he began counseling the Republican leader on the coronavirus response, and the president often frustrated the recommendations of Fauci and other health leaders. These clashes placed Faucit at the center of public attention, often seen as the hero of the left for his commitment to science in the face of Trump’s remarks, and the left on the right, especially among Trump’s loyalists.
Biden saw his coronavirus plans as a balance between ensuring that Americans believe the vaccine is safe and introducing a number of plans to curb the spread of the virus without shutting down the economy.
During the interview, Biden also said he would “be happy” to receive a coronavirus vaccine if Fauci says it is safe and that he will receive the vaccine publicly to prove his confidence in it.
“That’s the moment I stand in public,” and I get the vaccine, ”Biden said. “People have lost faith in the vaccine’s ability to work. Even the numbers are amazingly low, and it doesn’t matter what the president and vice president do.”
“I think three of my predecessors defined the model of what to do, saying that once it’s declared safe … then obviously we’ll take it, and it’s important to communicate with the American people,” Biden said.