CNN’s Jim Sciutto Asks Fauci Point-Blank if Trump’s Failure to Concede Will ‘Cost Lives’


CNN’s Jim Sciutto asked White House infectious disease honcho Dr. Anthony Fauci if President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede to President-elect Joe Biden will cost lives by delaying transition activities, and Fauci delivered a lengthy response that amounted to agreement.

On Tuesday morning, Sciutto asked Fauci about comments that Biden made during a press conference yesterday, telling Fauci, “Biden said yesterday, and we just played this, that more people may die if the outgoing administration and the incoming administration don’t coordinate.”

“I wonder if you agree, does this delay potentially cost lives?” Sciutto asked.

Fauci telegraphed his customary reticence by pausing and telling Sciutto “Well, the only thing I can say, Jim is that transitions are important, and if you don’t have a smooth transition, you would not optimize whatever efforts you are doing right now.”

He then delivered a lengthy response about his experience with transitions over prior administrations, likening those transitions to a relay race.

“What specifically, just so folks at home understand, what is lost, what would those communications be like now, what would the baton-passing look like if there was communication like that?” Sciutto asked.

Fauci responded with a litany of detail, telling Sciutto, “Well first of all, you can talk about things like what is the level of supply that’s available, what is the utilization of PPEs, what about the hospital beds that the various members of the current coronavirus task force are in communication with the health groups in different states, getting into interaction at a formal level with the governors, understanding every detail of the vaccine program, not only the two vaccines that have fortunately been shown to be very effective, but where are we in Operation Warp Speed with regard to the other candidates which are coming into their own in the sense of clinical trial accumulating data.”

“All of those things can be done in partnership,” Fauci said.

“That sounds to me, as a layman, as things that matter, things that would make a difference,” Sciutto said.

“Yeah, of course they would,” Fauci said, and reiterated the importance of the communication that’s not going on.

Fauci has long tried to walk a line between speaking unpleasant truths and doing so in a diplomatic fashion that won’t offend Trump, a tendency that was illustrated earlier in the interview when Fauci nearly referred to Biden as “President-elect” before quickly correcting himself.

“Have you been able to speak to President-elect Biden or any members of his Covid team?” Sciutto asked.

“I have not had contact with the President — with the, uh, with the Vice President Biden, no, I have not, Jim,” Fauci answered.

Watch the clip above via CNN.

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