KEY POINTS

  • Fauci says he feels liberated under the Biden administration
  • The infectious disease expert touted a series of executive orders Biden later signed to combat COVID-19
  • One of the measures would direct US companies to produce masks and other crucial supplies 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, returned to the White House briefing room on Thursday and admitted feeling liberated about being able to now "let the science speak."

Fauci said he took no pleasure in having to contradict former President Donald Trump regarding the coronavirus pandemic, and said he is not worried about facing backlash from the new administration of President Joe Biden by taking necessary science-based measures. 

"I can tell you, I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the President," Fauci said during the press briefing.

Under the previous administration, Fauci often clashed with Trump, who repeatedly touted treatment plans that were proven to be ineffective against COVID-19. He also was sidelined by Trump, and, at one point, restricted from appearing on television to offer the public vital warnings about the virus. 

“It was very clear that there were things that were said regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that, that was uncomfortable because they were not based on scientific fact,” Fauci said at the press briefing. “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.”

At the White House press briefing, Fauci also touted a series of executive actions to combat the pandemic that President Biden would sign hours after the press briefing. 

The president’s 198-page plan includes ramping up testing for the COVID-19, accelerating the speed of vaccine distribution, and providing state and local governments with more funding and direction to battle the spread of COVID-19.

Biden’s signed orders include one that would require Americans to wear masks on public transportation, including trains, buses and planes. There are also measures that would direct U.S. companies to make N95 masks, swabs and other essential supplies. 

"Our national strategy is comprehensive, it's based on science, not politics. It's based on truth, not denial, and it's detailed," Biden said during the signing. "We're at Day 1." Dr. Anthony Fauci Speaks During A White House Press Briefing WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a White House press briefing, conducted by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images