The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases said there will be ‘a lot of transparency’ moving forward
Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show Friday night, marking the first time he was permitted to do so. According to Fauci, former President Donald Trump administration’s “blocked” his guest spot on the show. By the end of his only term in office, Trump and Fauci’s relationship, by a number of accounts, went from cordial to frosty to barely speaking.
Maddow asked the doctor if the press and public will have more access to him, and Fauci predicted a change, telling the MSNBC host “he’s positive of it,” People reports.
Speaking like an MLM-downliner who was just released from his contract, Fauci explained his absence from the popular program. “I’ve been wanting to come on your show for months and months. You’ve been asking me to come on your show for months and months,” he told Maddow. “And it’s just gotten blocked. Let’s call it what it is. It just got blocked because they didn’t like the way you handle things and they didn’t want me on.”
Fauci to @Maddow: "I've been wanting to come on your show for months and months. You've been asking me to come on your show for months and months… It just got blocked, because they didn't like the way you handled things." He says things are better now. pic.twitter.com/ZHEYBzlBjk
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 23, 2021
It was “so clear” the Trump administration did not want the doctor to go anywhere near the show.
Fauci, a doctor who has the serene afterglow of someone who has been thoroughly f**ked over by the Trump adminstration and lived to tell the tale, told Maddow that he can’t imagine having the same issue in the current administration.
Twitter has noticed how happy the good doctor seems.
I saw Fauci on @maddow tonight and I think that might have been the most relaxing interview I’ve ever seen.
Fauci looks so relieved and it makes me so happy.
I’m ready to go to bed with zero anxiety- What a thought. Thank you to the public servants and scientists at NIH & CDC
— David Hogg (He / Him) (@davidhogg111) January 23, 2021
“I think you’re going to see a lot of transparency,” he said. “You might not see everybody as often as you want, but you’re not going to see deliberate holding back of good people when the press asks for them.”
Fauci’s interview comes as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta claims they were similarly muzzled by the Trump Administration. According to Forbes, new CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky accused the Trump White House of silencing the agency, while trying to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic.
Dr Fauci now admonishes Trump admin officials on MSNBC over the political pressure exerted on the CDC, saying the coronavirus response was corrupted because “leadership from the very top let that happen.”
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) January 23, 2021
“I would say that the people of the CDC… have been muzzled [and] the science has not always been followed,” Wallensky said.
Forbes reports tensions started last February, when CDC official Nancy Messionier held a press conference during which she warned the public the virus’ “disruption to everyday life might be severe.”
Following Messionier’s statement, markets took a nosedive, sparking the former president’s anger. Then in May, officials at the CDC told CNN that science was taking a backseat to political ambition.
In September, Michael Caputo, former assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), apologized to HHS staff after reports surfaced he interfered with CDC reports on the seriousness of COVID-19. The former assistant secretary had also accused the CDC of deliberately opposing Trump, calling the agency’s reports a sign of a “resistance unit” inside the ranks.
The new administration is aware of the challenges of the pandemic, Fauci told reporters in his first press conference after Biden’s inauguration.
“One of the new things in this administration is, if you don’t know the answer, don’t guess. Just say you don’t know the answer,” Fauci said, adding later that an importance will be placed on making “everything we do be based on science and evidence.”
“One of the things that we’re going to do is to be completely transparent, open and honest. If things go wrong, not point fingers, but to correct them,” he promised.
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