Washington DC: US President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday he would publicly take a coronavirus vaccine to demonstrate its safety to the public and pledged to retain the nation’s top adviser on the pandemic, Anthony Fauci, when he takes office next month. “People have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work,” Biden told CNN in an interview set to air later on Thursday.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, met with Biden’s advisers on the pandemic earlier in the day. In the interview, Biden said he asked Fauci to stay on as a chief medical adviser.

Trump and the Republican National Committee said on Thursday they had raised USD 207.5 million since the November 3 election. Trump has urged supporters to send money to finance his legal efforts to overturn his loss to Biden. The efforts have so far proved fruitless.

Trump at times has criticized Fauci’s insistence on aggressive measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now claimed 273,000 US lives.

US deaths from the coronavirus pandemic have surged past 2,000 for two days in a row as the most dangerous season of the year approaches. Nearly 200,000 new US cases were reported on Wednesday, with hospitalizations approaching 100,000 patients.

Pfizer Inc’s vaccine has already been approved by regulatory authorities in Britain, while the US Food and Drug Administration plans to decide whether to do so on an emergency basis after an advisory panel meeting on December 10. Vaccines could be distributed in the United States almost immediately afterward.

Fauci was critical, however, of the approval process in the UK. “They kind of ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile,” he told CBS News. “They really rushed through that approval.” He later apologized, however, for his critique, telling the BBC that he meant” no judgment” of the British process.

(With inputs from agency)