With a transfer of presidential power on the horizon following the victory of President-elect Joe Biden against President Trump, Anthony Fauci recently called for “a uniform approach” for the U.S. in lieu of the more “disjointed” response to the COVID-19 pandemic the country has seen thus far.
Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, made these comments on Tuesday during a virtual conference with The New York Times. Fauci has worked to stay politically neutral during the pandemic, but he has frequently advocated for the implementation of public health measures like social distancing and wearing face masks, despite the politicization of these measures.
“We’ve got to get public health issues out of the realm of political divisiveness — this is not a political issue,” he explained. “We’ve got to do everything we possibly can to pull together as a nation.”
His comments with the Times ultimately veer closer to Biden’s proposed plan to combat the virus, which includes nationwide mask coordination. As of Nov. 17, 36 states require the mandatory use of face masks while in public, with a remaining 14 leaving it up to local jurisdictions.
“We need some fundamental public health measures that everyone should be adhering to, not a disjointed, ‘One state says one thing, the other state says another thing,’” Fauci said.
In a more opaque comment, Fauci also noted that when the time comes for Trump to transition presidential power to Biden in January, the former Vice President’s transition teams should have access to federal agencies.
“I’ve been through five transitions; I can say that transitions are extremely important to the smooth continuity of whatever you’re doing,” he said. “We need to transition to the team that will be doing it, similar to how we’re doing it.”