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Fauci critical of service under Trump, says working for Biden to stop COVID is 'liberating'

"I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president," Fauci said.

Screengrab of Dr. Anthony Fauci in December 2020
Screengrab of Dr. Anthony Fauci in December 2020
(2020 Robert F. Kennedy Ripple Of Hope Award Gala/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)
Updated: January 21, 2021 - 6:25pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Dr. Anthony Fauci is wasting little time giving an unfavorable review about his time as a key member of the former Trump administration's coronavirus task force.

"I can tell you, I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president," Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, said Thursday in his first Biden administration White House press briefing.

"So it was really something that you didn't feel that you could actually say something and there wouldn't be any repercussions about it. The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence, what the science is, and know that's it, let the science speak, it is somewhat of a liberating feeling."

Fauci, also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is now a member of the Biden coronavirus team.

Fauci specifically singled out Trump and others' support for the experimental drug hydroxychloroquine during the early stages of the pandemic. He said issues such as hearing the argument in support of that drug proved "uncomfortable because they were not based on scientific fact."

Fauci also discussed the pandemic which he described as a "very serious situation," noting that there have been more than 400,000 related deaths in the U.S. 

"When you look at the number of new infections that we have it's still at a very, very high rate," he also said.

On the increased number of related hospitalizations in some parts of the nation, he said hospitals are "really stressed from the standpoint of beds, from the standpoint of the stress on the healthcare system." 

Fauci offered some potentially positive news regarding the seven-day average of coronavirus cases.

"We were going between 300,000 and 400,000 and 200,000 and 300,000," he said. "Right now, it looks like it might actually be plateauing in the sense of turning around."


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