White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci will be joining the White House press briefing on Thursday afternoon. Fauci is set to discuss the new administration’s coronavirus response efforts. This morning Psaki announced the disease expert will be joining the briefing to “ensure we are having public health experts, medical experts really leading our communication about the process that is underway to get the pandemic under control.”
The Hill reports:
Psaki also emphasized that Biden and his team need to set expectations on virus response and ensure the American public understands it will take time to get the pandemic under control following the change to a new administration.
“We’re not going to be able to get out of the pandemic or get the pandemic under control overnight,” Psaki said. “It’s going to take months and months and we want to also be clear in setting that expectation to the American public.”
Fauci was a leading figure at coronavirus task force briefings in the early part of the Trump administration’s virus response last year but his presence was diminished as his blunt warnings about the threat from COVID-19 came in conflict with former President Trump’s own rosy pronouncements. Trump even began to criticize Fauci on the campaign trail last fall and at one point openly mused about trying to fire him after the election.
Fauci, who has served as director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for over three decades and is also serving as President Biden’s chief medical adviser, met virtually with the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier Thursday and announced the new administration’s decision to remain in the global health body after Trump had moved to withdraw from it.
The Biden administration’s choice to have the briefing center on Fauci is the latest decision to diverge from the Trump administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.