Working for a new administration seems to have given Dr Anthony Fauci a boost.
The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases did not hesitate to share his pleasure to report to President Joe Biden on Thursday after a year of walking on eggshells around former President Donald Trump.
After being largely sidelined by the previous president in recent months, Fauci was back to answer questions from reporters during his first White House press briefing since Biden took office. And he even laughed and freely admitted that he didn’t know if the new president had spoken with Amazon AMZN,
before the tech giant announced this week that it is ready to help the new administration get more Americans vaccinated.
““One of the new things about this administration is that if you don’t know the answer, don’t guess. Just say you don’t know the answer.“
His remark made the press gathered Thursday in the White House briefing room laugh, but he was not joking.
When another reporter asked Fauci about “the jokes” he was making about his work in this administration compared to the previous one, he replied: “But you said I was joking about it, I was very serious. about that. ”I wasn’t kidding.
Fauci said he felt “uncomfortable” hearing things Trump said about hydroxychloroquine, for example, that “was not based on scientific facts.”
And he appeared to confirm that he had felt silenced by the previous administration.
“I can tell you that I take no pleasure in being in a position to contradict the president,” he said. “You didn’t feel like you could actually say something, and there wouldn’t be any repercussions about it.”
He continued, “The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, the evidence, the science, and know that’s it. Let science speak. It’s a bit of a liberating feeling.
Watch some of Fauci’s remarks here:
Fauci became a household name early in the pandemic after being invited to speak at daily White House press briefings on the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
But as Fauci increasingly found himself at odds with Trump about the worsening pandemic and the country’s response to it, he largely disappeared from White House public health briefings. A reporter said Thursday that Fauci was in fact “banned” from the White House, and Fauci did not contradict him.
““The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, the evidence, the science, and know that’s it. Let science speak. It’s a bit of a liberating feeling.“
Many viewers noticed how happier and more comfortable Fauci looked during this White House press briefing than he did last year.
And Biden promised Thursday that the country will see a lot of Fauci in the weeks and months to come.
“You are still going to hear a lot more from Dr Fauci, not from the president but from real experts and scientists,” Biden said while unveiling his administration’s 198-page plan to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and sign a series of decrees, which includes a national vaccination campaign with an ambitious goal of administering 100 million doses of vaccine during his first 100 days in office.
Read more:“We are in a national emergency, and it is time we treated it as such,” Biden said as he signed more executive orders.
And:Biden signs wave of orders to fight pandemic that has now claimed the lives of more than 407,000 Americans
Fauci also addressed the World Health Organization board early Thursday to pledge the United States to resume work with the health agency to support the international response to COVID-19 ; Trump began pulling the United States out of the WHO in September, after criticizing its response to the pandemic and accusing it of bowing to Chinese influence.