Dr. Anthony Fauci dodged a question about the timing of Amazon's offer to help the Biden administration vaccinate Americans, taking a shot at the Trump administration's approach to coronavirus messaging and saying the new regime is "liberating."
"I don't think I can answer that question," Fauci told reporters at the White House daily press briefing, when asked why Amazon's offer only came after President Joe Biden was inaugurated. "I'd be waving my hands about that, sorry."
Fauci waved his hands while making that very comment, and then took a shot at former President Donald Trump's administration.
"Well, you know, one of the new things in this administration is if you don't know the answer, don't guess," Fauci added. "Just say you don't know the answer."
Fauci did make an educated guess, amid the discoveries of new COVID-19 variants around the world and in the U.S., the vaccines can be effectively be modified to take account of new mutations of the virus.
Among the more concerning variants, the South Africa variant is concerning to Fauci, he admitted, saying the variant has yet to enter the U.S., without knowing for sure.
Later, Fauci was asked to expound on his "joking" rejection of his former president.
"You said I was joking about it," Fauci said, laughing. "I was very serious."
"I wasn't joking," Fauci continued, after taking an extended pause for more laughs. "I don't want to be going back over history, but it was very clear that there were things that were said — be it regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that — that was really 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."
Fauci did suggest, based on recent seven-day averages, coronavirus infections might be about to hit a plateau in the United States.
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