White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said he took “no pleasure” in contradicting former President Donald Trump on the COVID-19 pandemic and feels more liberated being able to discuss the science without facing backlash from the new administration.
“The idea that you can get up here and you can talk about what you know, what evidence, what the science is, and know that’s it — let the science speak. It is somewhat of a liberating feeling,” Fauci said Thursday in his first White House press briefing in months.
Fauci, who’s now advising President Joe Biden, said he took no pleasure in contradicting Trump, who often made false claims about the severity of the pandemic as well as drugs being developed to fight it.
“It was very clear that there were things that were said, be it regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that, that really (were) 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 that you could actually say something and there wouldn’t be any repercussions about it.”
He said it’s “somewhat of a liberating feeling” to talk about science and “that’s it.”
This story originally appeared on CNBC.