It is “liberating” to have the backing of the White House – Latest News, Breaking News, Top News Headlines – .

Dr. Anthony Fauci is back.

In reality, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert never left. But after enduring nearly a year of criticism and debilitating comments from former President Donald Trump, he is now speaking to the White House authority again.

Fauci said Thursday that it is “liberating” to have the backing of a science-friendly government that has adopted his recommendations to combat COVID-19.

“One of the new things in this administration is, if you don’t know the answer, don’t guess,” he critically observed during a briefing at the White House. “Just say you don’t know the answer.”

Fauci’s highly visible schedule on Thursday, the first full day of Joe Biden’s presidency, clearly reveals the new administration’s confidence in the doctor, but also the urgency of the moment.

Fauci’s day began with a virtual meeting at 4 in the morning with officials of the World Health Organization, based in Switzerland, and lasted beyond 4 in the afternoon on the podium of the press room of the White House.

The dizzying pace shows the urgent need to combat a pandemic that has left more than 400,000 dead in the United States and reached its deadliest phase just as the new president takes office.

Fauci made it clear that he believes that the new administration will not send contradictory messages like those frequently issued by the Trump White House, in which scientific facts were often overshadowed by the president’s political agenda.

“The idea that you can stand up here and talk about what you know and what science is … it’s like a liberating feeling,” the doctor told reporters. White House press secretary Jen Psaki had invited Fauci to speak first at her daily conference.

While choosing his words carefully, Fauci acknowledged that it was difficult at times to work with Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the severity of the pandemic, refused to consistently promote the use of face masks, and often promoted unscientific remedies against coronavirus, as an antimalarial drug, and even inject disinfectant.

“It was very clear that there were things that were said, whether related to hydroxychloroquine and other things, that were really uncomfortable because they were not based on scientific fact,” Fauci said. He added that he didn’t like having to contradict the president, which often drew Trump’s ire.

During his presidential campaign, Biden vowed to name Fauci his top medical adviser when he assumed the presidency, and the 80-year-old scientist immediately took action.

Fauci was already awake before dawn Thursday to participate in the virtual meeting with the WHO, to which Biden reinstated the United States the day before, after Trump withdrew the country because he was upset by the way the organization acted with China in the early days of the pandemic.

Fauci told the WHO that Washington will join his initiative to deliver coronavirus vaccines to poor countries.

In the afternoon, the doctor stood next to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House as they unveiled a series of executive orders intended to reduce the spread of the virus, which is claiming the lives of more than 4,000 Americans on a daily basis, as well as to bolster the nation’s slow vaccine distribution program.

Fauci chatted amiably with reporters while awaiting the new president.

The doctor acknowledged that it was a long day and pointed out that although he would prefer to go for a run, he planned to walk a few kilometers on Thursday night.

It was a day of stark contrast after the Trump administration kept it tight. The West Wing press officers strictly controlled Fauci’s presentations to the press, blocking most of him.

The doctor went from being a constant presence at press conferences during the first weeks of the pandemic to being largely vetoed as Trump’s jealousy grew in the face of the positive press coverage Fauci received and his resentment over the disposition of the doctor to contradict him.

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