Asked if he feels less constrained dealing with the new administration, Fauci said: "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've joked a couple times today already about the difference in that you feel and 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, what is the, you know, I mean, you -- for so many times you stood up behind the podium with Donald Trump standing behind you. That was a different feeling, I'm sure, that it is today. Can you talk a little bit about how you feel kind of released from what you had been doing for the last year?
FAUCI: Yeah, but you said I was joking about it. I was very serious --
-- I wasn't joking.
No, actually, I mean, obviously I don't want to be going back, you know, 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 really was uncomfortable because they were not based on scientific fact. I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president, so it's 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: I mean, you were basically banished for a few months there for a while. You feel like you're back now?
FAUCI: I think so. Okay.