Newly empowered and liberated Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Saturday that he’s happy to be working for a president who doesn’t repeatedly spew misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert said that on multiple instances he was forced to correct misinformation from Donald Trump, which put him in an uncomfortable position.
“I felt as a scientist I had to be true tomyself and true to the science to make sure that where there were things that I thought might be misinformation, that I would have to correct that,” Fauci said. “And there were a number of instances of that.”
With Joe Biden now in charge, Dr. Fauci says he has no concerns letting the science and data call the shots.
“You could feel you could tell the truth based on science, based on data, based on evidence, and you wouldn’t upset anybody,” he said.
Dr. Fauci said:
Obviously, it was not an easy situation. I always did speak based on the data and the science. But obviously, there was pressure about messaging that. And I took no pleasure in having to sometimes publicly, even with the president there, to contradict what he was saying, but I felt as a scientist I had to be true to myself and true to the science to make sure that where there were things that I thought might be misinformation that I would have to correct that. And there were a number of instances of that. That is not a comfortable situation. But I had to do it, because I felt that the only way that I could maintain not only my own credibility but the credibility of the scientific enterprise was to speak the truth all the time. But there was the constant pressure that sometimes the truth would be upsetting to some people. Not necessarily the president, but — including the president — but some of the people around him. That wasn’t only for me, but also, there were some very good people that were there in the staff on the coronavirus task force that also were under even a more difficult situation than I because they were political appointees, and I had the advantage of not being a political appointee. But the bottom line, when I meant liberating, is that you could feel you could tell the truth based on science, based on data, based on evidence, and you wouldn’t upset anybody. That was one of the things that was very difficult about it, it was having to always be wondering whether or not it would please the president or not, or please certain senior staff members. And that’s not the right thing to do. That just doesn’t work that way. It should be the facts are the facts, period.
For the past year, the Trump White House has looked at the coronavirus pandemic as a public relations crisis they thought they could market their way out of.
That’s why leading health experts like Dr. Fauci – who repeatedly tried to tell the dire truth about the virus – were sidelined.
Now, with Joe Biden in the White House quickly taking steps to combat the virus and end this public health crisis, medical professionals like Fauci are front and center again.
This is what it looks like when a White House allows public policy to be dictated by science and data, not the president’s ego.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.