Video report by ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy
He is America’s most senior doctor but for a time yesterday, Dr Anthony Fauci sounded more like the country’s top diplomat as he carefully navigated questions about the past with hope for the future.
In the same room he heard former president Donald Trump ponder injecting bleach as a way to tackle coronavirus, he was given the microphone and given his voice once more, free of political interference.
Pressed on the old guard by reporters, he wasn’t saying much.
“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.
It was a fairly mild rebuke from a man who now has round-the-clock security having been castigated by the previous administration.
After a year of being belittled, ignored, dismissed and diminished by President Trump, Dr Fauci was ushered into the White House with the welcome of a long lost friend.
His newly recovered respect in the West Wing was laid out in the words of the newly elected president, but it was perhaps the small changes which mattered most to this 80-year-old medic - the masks, the distance and the disinfectant.
Moments before he took to the podium in the press room, White House staff were wiping down the equipment. He’s has urged all these measures for the past year.
“The idea 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,” was the furthest he went in alluding to the travails of his time working for the Trump administration.
Joe Biden is the seventh US president Dr Fauci has advised. With 400,000 Covid 19 deaths so far his words have never carried so much weight, his decades of experience never more needed.
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