Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading coronavirus expert, says his top priority working with President-elect Joe Biden‘s administration will be “to expeditiously get people vaccinated” against COVID-19.
“The first one is to expeditiously get people vaccinated, there’s no doubt about that. To me that is the critical issue. You know, if we didn’t have the tools, I’d say ‘well, let’s get the tools.’ We have the tools, so we’ve just got to implement them,” Fauci told Newsweek when asked to list his priorities for working with the incoming administration.
“We know what our path is ahead of us. We’ve got to get as many people as possible vaccinated. We are fortunate enough to have at least two, and likely more, highly efficacious vaccines,” he added. “The real challenge is getting everybody vaccinated as quickly as you possibly can. Once we do that, we can end this outbreak. So we know what the end game is, we’ve just got to implement it.”
There are already two coronavirus vaccines on the American market––one from Pfizer and one from Moderna––and Fauci says he expects more to be approved next year.
“We’re already committed to developing six of them [COVID-19 vaccines]. Five of them are already in trial, one of them is going into a phase three trial very soon, maybe today [Monday] or tomorrow [Tuesday]. I think we’re going to get multiple approvals of vaccines in the first several months of 2021. I’m sure we’ll get additional ones besides the Moderna and Pfizer [vaccines].”
Earlier this week, President-elect Biden criticized President Donald Trump’s administration for lagging its feet on the vaccine rollout. Roughly 2.8 million people have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, though the Trump administration had pleaded that 20 million would be vaccinated by the end of December.
“This is going to be the greatest operational challenge we’ve ever faced as a nation,” Biden said during an address in Wilmington, Delaware, “but we’re going to get it done.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.