Upon his return to the White House briefing room on Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed a sense of relief to work under President Biden after spending the past year refuting former President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims on COVID-19.
When asked whether he feels less constrained in the Biden administration, after spending the past year clashing with Trump’s downplaying of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fauci first pointed to how “uncomfortable” it was to have to push back on Trump’s unfounded suggestions on how to treat the novel coronavirus.
“It is very clear there were things that were said — be it regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that — that really was uncomfortable, because they were not based on scientific fact,” Fauci said. “I can tell you I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president, so it was really something that you didn’t feel you could actually say something and there wouldn’t be repercussions about it.”
Fauci admitted that it’s a “liberating feeling” to no longer find himself in a position of contradicting the former president.
“The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence and science is, and know that’s it — let the science speak, it is somewhat of a liberating feeling,” Fauci said.
Asked whether he feels that he’s “back now” after being sidelined from White House briefings for months, Fauci gleefully quipped: “I think so.”
Fauci’s return to the White House briefing room podium as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser comes on the heels of the country hitting the grim milestone of more than 400,000 deaths from COVID-19 thus far.
Psaki told “Morning Joe” on Thursday that Fauci would be joining her at the briefing later that day as part of the Biden administration’s effort to “ensure we’re having public health experts, medical experts really leading our communication about the process that is underway to get the pandemic under control.”
Earlier Thursday, Fauci affirmed Biden’s commitment to keeping the U.S. in the World Health Organization (WHO) after Trump attempted to withdraw from the agency.
“The United States sees technical collaboration at all levels as a fundamental part of our relationship with WHO, one that we value deeply and will look to strengthen going forward,” Fauci said in his speech at a WHO executive board meeting early Thursday morning.
Fauci’s return to the public eye under the Biden administration is a stark contrast from the Trump White House’s efforts to discredit the nation’s top infectious disease expert after Fauci repeatedly pushed back on the former president’s downplaying of the pandemic.
Watch Fauci’s remarks below:
Dr. Anthony Fauci on former Pres. Trump: "You didn't feel that you could actually say something and there wouldn't be any repercussions."
"The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know…let the science speak—it is somewhat of a liberating feeling." pic.twitter.com/z41pCBhZXX
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 21, 2021