Amid COVID-19 Spike, Dr. Fauci to Be in Charge of NIH

(Noted News) —  As president-elect Joe Biden continues to build his administration for his projected presidency, Anthony Fauci is expected to remain in charge of the NIH. 

This update comes as the COVID-19 pandemic reaches historic levels; the worldwide death toll is now recorded at 1.5 million with the U.S. death toll approaching 280,000. The total number of cases has been recorded at 14 million in the U.S., with the total number of hospitalizations at a new record of 100,000.

On December 2nd, the U.S. reported 200,000 new cases, and a death toll of 2,700, the second-highest ever recorded. 

According to the COVID Tracking Project, California, the Rust Belt, and New York are the main drivers behind the trend. California hit an overnight number of 20,000, and Texas reached 16,000, a new record for the Lone Star state. The COVID Tracking Project also says that the pandemic is overwhelmingly affecting people of color the most.

Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, has imposed the toughest lockdowns that the country has ever seen, banning all gatherings of more than one family, and barring most walking, driving, and public transport. In a public order, he said: 

“We must minimize contact with others as much as possible. Even if you believe that the virus does not present a particular threat to you, consider the impact that your choices have on others. Because COVID-19 can be transmitted by someone who is unaware that she is carrying it, one person could be unknowingly infecting many people if she is not careful. The better we are now at staying apart, the sooner we will be able to come back together.” 

President-elect Joe Biden has taken a more proactive stance on the COVID-19 pandemic compared to Donald Trump, once garnering criticism from Trump for saying that he would impose lockdowns “if the scientists said so.” 

The president-elect has stated that he believes the U.S. should “spend whatever it takes, without delay, to meet public health needs and deal with the mounting economic consequences.” 

“We all agree on the need to reopen the economy and allow some semblance of normalcy as soon as possible. The economic pain and suffering are simply too great to delay unnecessarily. But it is wrong to talk about ‘choosing’ between our public health and our economy. That’s a false choice. If we don’t beat the virus, we will never get back to full economic strength. And the experience of other nations and past pandemics is teaching us that we have to be prepared for a resurgence of cases that could once again stretch the capacity of our health care system and threaten lives.”

At a Florida rally just before the election, Donald Trump implied that the media was exaggerating the severity of COVID-19, triggering a “fire Fauci” chant from the crowd. He replied with, “Don’t tell anybody, but Iet me wait until a little bit after the election. I appreciate the advice.” 

In response, Joe Biden said he would instead “hire Fauci,” and “fire Trump.” 

Fauci, as the top public health official in the country, has become something of a household name during the pandemic as many look to him for guidance on how to deal with the virus. Originally from New York, Fauci has had to deal with criticisms from some who claim he’s not doing enough, and others who say he’s doing too much. The 79-year-old has publicly stated that he is still keen on continuing despite the rocky road. 

When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked him if he’d like to continue working under Biden, he said “Certainly that’s what I want to do, and I believe I will be doing that.”

“I have no intention of leaving. This is an important job. I’ve been doing it now for a very long time. I’ve been doing it under six presidents. It’s an important job, and my goal is to serve the American public, no matter what the administration is.”

US officials are projecting 450,000 dead from COVID-19 by February before a vaccine is rolled out to at least 100 million people.

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