During a Thursday afternoon White House press briefing, one reporter broke away from asking about the current state of the virus and vaccines and instead got rather chummy with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the President in President Joe Biden‘s administration, asking him “how free” Fauci feels now that he doesn’t work for former President Donald Trump. Fauci replied, saying it’s “somewhat of a liberating feeling.”
“You joked a couple times today already about the difference […] that you feel in being kind of the spokesperson for this issue in this administration versus the previous one. Can you talk a little bit about how free, how much different, do you feel less constrained?” the reporter asked Fauci, then interrupting himself to find his words.
“For so many times, you stood up behind the podium with Donald Trump standing behind you—that was a different feeling, I’m sure, than it is today,” the reporter continued. “Can you talk a little bit about how you feel kind of released from what you had been doing for the last year?”
“You said that I was joking about it. I was very serious,” Fauci replied, then letting out a laugh and the reporter started laughing too.
After the laughter died down, Fauci said that it “was very clear that there were things that were said, be it regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that—that really was uncomfortable because they were not based on scientific fact.”
“I can tell you I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president and 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 [is], what the science is and know that’s it—let the science speak. It is somewhat a liberating feeling.”
Before the reporter’s time with Fauci ran out, he asked the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases one more question.
“You were basically banished for a few months there for a while. Do you feel like you’re back now?” he asked.
Fauci chuckled and replied: “I think so.” The room then broke out into laughter.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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State officials, CDC investigating monkeypox case in Florida
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with Florida state health officials, are investigating what is believed to be a case of monkeypox. A statement from the Florida Department of Health in Broward County stated the “case is related to international travel, and the person remains isolated.”
Late Friday a New York City resident also tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox, and is the state’s first confirmed case. On Sunday, President Joe Biden made his first public statements about the outbreaks, saying the recent spread of monkeypox in at least 12 countries are “something that everybody should be concerned about.”
Axios reports a person was confirmed positive with the virus in Massachusetts, New York and “roughly a half dozen other cases” are “being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
BREAKING: Florida reports first presumptive Monkeypox case.
Case is in Broward County and related to international travel.
— Cristian Benavides (@cbenavidesTV) May 22, 2022
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