Dr. Fauci has urged the Trump administration to pass the baton to ensure a smooth vaccine rollout.
Donald Trump's refusal to concede the election to his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, could impact the nation's ability to roll out two new promising coronavirus vaccines and make the pandemic worse, according to his own experts.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, amplified the importance of a smooth transition between presidential administrations on Monday.
"Obviously, it's something we're concerned about," Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said on NBC News' "Today" show. "I've served in six administrations, so I've seen a number of transitions, and I know that transitions are very important to get a smooth, essentially I used the metaphor ... passing the baton without stopping running. I mean, you just want things to go very smoothly."
Asked just how critical a smooth transition was to any successful virus response, Fauci added, "The virus is not going to stop and call a time out while things change. The virus is just going to keep going. The process is just going to keep going."
Fauci's comments came the same day Moderna announced its coronavirus vaccine had proven 95% effective, and days after Pfizer announced its vaccine, too, was 90% effective. Fauci said he wants to roll out the vaccine and get doses to high-risk individuals "starting in December."
"And then we really want to get the ball rolling as we get into January, February, and March. We want a smooth process for that," he said. "And the way you do that is essentially by having the two groups speak to each other and exchange information."
Standing in the way of that smooth process is Trump's decision to stonewall Biden's transition to the White House.
Emily Murphy, Trump's General Services Administration chief, has patently refused to sign a letter that would initiate the president-elect's transition.
"An [election] ascertainment has not yet been made, and [the] Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law" until then, a spokesperson told the Washington Post last week.
The transition delays themselves stem from Trump's continued denial of his election loss to the former vice president, and his efforts to repeatedly peddle false claims of voter fraud, claims his own administration has repeatedly and thoroughly debunked.
"The Radical Left Democrats, working with their partner, the Fake News Media, are trying to STEAL this Election. We won’t let them!" he tweeted Monday.
"I won the Election!" Trump tweeted the same day.
Twitter quickly labeled both posts as misleading, with a disclaimer beneath the latter which read, "Official sources called this election differently."
Meanwhile, nearly every region across the United States has seen a significant surge in COVID-19 cases. Just last month, states like Utah, Wisconsin, Indiana were forced to build overflow hospitals as they ran out of beds for the growing list of COVID-19 patients.
As of the time of publication, COVID-19 cases in the United States had surpassed 11.1 million, while more than 246,000 have died from the virus, according to a New York Times database.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.