On Thursday, the Biden administration started its second day of work, signing a series of executive actions and holding press conferences. Dr. Anthony Fauci, arguably the only person who technically served during the Trump administration, has aptitude for his job, and wasn’t a morally bankrupt monster, held a press conference in the White house briefing room, all by himself, to discuss what new mutations of COVID-19 mean and to answer (mostly Trump-related questions) from the press corps. After acknowledging the 400,000-plus dead Americans, and explaining the need to get COVID-19 under control because the less infection spread means the less chance of mutations, Fauci was asked about differences between the Trump administration and the Biden administration.
These questions were asked in various oblique ways, like the first one—a seeming attempt to promote a right-wing apologetics BS story that tries to blame vaccine distribution problems not on the Trump administration but on Amazon. The question came from Fox News’ newest White House correspondent, Peter Doocy, Fox News logic contortionist Steve Doocy’s son. The argument is that the new announcement that the online retailer has offered help to the Biden administration in order to distribute vaccines more robustly is something that was purposefully held back from Trump and therefore, Trump’s bungling of everything he’s ever done is once again someone else’s fault. The question ended with whether or not Fauci knew of any talks about this kind of thing during the Trump administration. Fauci explained that he didn’t know what the difference might have been but that “One of the new things in this administration is that if you don’t know the answer, don’t guess. Just say you don’t know the answer.”
Dr. Fauci said that so far, based on the information our government has right at this moment (remember, the Biden administration began about 24 hours ago), some of the mutations of the viruses seen around the world have not touched down in the U.S., Ffngers crossed. Fauci also explained that the new president is looking to really “amplify” the breadth of the distribution efforts—arguably the single most important thing our country needs right now to get back to some kind of baseline healthy stasis.
He also said he was optimistic we can get to a 70- or 80% vaccination level of the American population by the end of the summer, saying that in so doing we will be able to see a “degree of normalcy” reappear in our lives. Not a perfect normalcy, but not the current shitty 1990s action film we have all been extras in during the past 10 months. Dr. Fauci said his main concern was making sure Americans understand how important it is to get the vaccine—that fighting “hesitancy” will be the biggest hurdle as the year progresses.
Again, Facui was asked what he thought of the new team the Biden administration has put together and whether or not things would have been different had they been in charge back in January when this first began. Fauci very diplomatically explained that he could tell you what he felt about the team but would not “extrapolate” beyond that. “One of the things that was very clear, as recently as about 15 minutes ago, when I was with the president, is that one of the things that we’re going to do is that we’re going to be completely transparent, open, and honest. If things go wrong, not point fingers, but to correct them, and to make everything we do based on science and evidence.”
Finally, asked about the difference Fauci felt being in front of the press under a Biden administration after “joking” today about the previous administration, Fauci did make a joke—a dead serious one. “You said I was joking but I was very serious about it. I wasn’t joking.” He went on to finish by explaining that everybody there saw that there were times under the Trump administration when non-scientific things like hydroxychloroquine and other things were pushed by the orange guy, and that it was a bad place to be. “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 liberating.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Dr. Fauci would be back again. Sounds good to me. I like this version of Fauci the best.