Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, was back in the White House press briefing room for the first time this year updating the public on COVID-19. Dr. Fauci is now acting as Joe Biden’s top medical adviser on the pandemic. It’s a role he clearly is happy to take on, especially after he was shunned and bashed by some of Donald Trump’s allies for the last several months. And he isn’t backing away from talking about it. During the briefing, he had this exchange with a reporter where he openly admitted it wasn’t easy working with the Trump administration:

Reporter: “You joked a couple times today already about the difference in — that you feel in being kind of the spokesperson for this issue in this administration versus the previous one. can you — can you talk a little bit about how free — how much different do you feel? less constrained?” 

Dr. Fauci: “You said I was joking about it. I was very serious. about it. I wasn’t joking. No, actually, I mean, obviously, I don’t want to be going back, you know, over history, but it’s 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. 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 — what the science is, and know that’s it, let the science speak, it is somewhat of a liberating feeling.”

Reporter: “You were basically banished for a few months there for a while. You feel like you’re back now?”

Dr. Fauci: “I think so.” 

Watch more of what Dr. Fauci said above.