Dr. Fauci on rejoining WHO and how Biden’s COVID plan will affect vaccine rollout

The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases addresses how the new administration’s virus response will differ from Trump’s and what it means for Americans.
4:29 | 01/21/21

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Transcript for Dr. Fauci on rejoining WHO and how Biden’s COVID plan will affect vaccine rollout
First we want to get to more on the covid-19 crisis as the U.S. Marks one year since the first case diagnosed on U.S. Soil. Now, the states are racing to get as many vaccinated as quickly as possible and earlier I spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to president Biden. And, Dr. Fauci, earlier this morning you officially rejoined the W.H.O. On behalf of the United States and how will this help us fight against covid? Well, it's going to be very important. When you're dealing with a global pandemic you have to have an international connectivity and for us to not be in the W.H.O. Was disconcerting to everybody. All the member countries including the health officials here in the United States, so the official announcement that we are rejoining, we're going to live up to our financial commitments and a whole bunch of other things, it was really a very good day. I mean the response I'm getting from ply colleagues all over the world is really very, very refreshing. And all across the country there are reports that appointments for the vaccine are being canceled due to shortages, but are you concerned about where we are right now and when will there be enough vaccines? You know, I think we're going to be there reasonably soon. In fact, we probably are already there. The president has made this his top priority. I'm going to meet with him later today to brief him about the situation with covid-19, particularly emphasizing the situation with the vaccines. As you know, his goal is to get 100 million people vaccinated within the first 100 days of his presidency. I mean, I feel fairly confident that that's going to be not only that but maybe even better. You know as president he promised 100 million doses in the first 100 days so how does he plan to ramp up production to meet this goal. Well, you know, first of all, if you look at the contractual arrangements that we've made the amount that will be coming in, we will be able to meet that goal. The important thing is going to be as much as the production, Michael, will be the distribution. To do it in an effective, efficient way, get it into the arms of people, get it really straight from the place where it's being packaged and put into the books into the trucks and into the arms of people. That's something that he's going to do by a number of new initiative, one of them is opening up community vaccination centers to be able to get it now into the pharmacies more so we can have access to it in the pharmacies and to use the defense production act wherever he needs it. If that means some of the material that you need syringes and needles and things like that as well as the vaccine itself, as he says he's going to do everything that he needs to do to make sure we have a successful rollout of the vaccines, get it into people's arms and get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can. Ande know in the uk they approved astrazeneca's vaccine which is easier to ship and store but Johnson & Johnson also have a vaccine. Can we expect an approval for these soon? I don't want to get ahead of the fda but can tell you that Johnson & Johnson, they are literally within a week or two of getting their data analyzed so that we can make a decision. If you look at the preliminary data, it looks good. Don't want to get ahead of the decision but I think that we can look forward to having more companies supplying vaccines in addition to the two now doing it namely, modern and pfizer. Dr. Fauci, there are a few new variants of the virus so how worried are you about the new California variant and what does that mean as far as eradicating the virus? Well, you always take mutants and variants seriously. You can expect that an rna virus like the coronavirus is going to mutate. You've got to follow it and look at it in a surveillance way. There are some concerning variants, there's one in the uk and we have that right now in the United States. It appears to be transmitted more efficiently. It doesn't appear to be more virulent and want to make sure our vaccines that we're distributing and putting into people's arms is going continue to protect against those variants but it's something you follow very, very carefully, Michael. You take it seriously. You don't want to panic about it but it's something you always want to be on top of and be ahead of it. All right, Dr. Fauci, thank you. Like you said, follow the science. Thank you very much, Michael. Good to be with you. You too.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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