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Banished by Trump but Brought Back by Biden, Fauci Aims to ‘Let the Science Speak’


On Thursday morning, just hours after Mr. Biden’s inauguration, Dr. Fauci spoke to the executive board of the World Health Organization, telling the international body that the United States would not be following through with Mr. Trump’s demand to leave the group in the middle of a pandemic.

“The United States stands ready to work in partnership and solidarity to support the international Covid-19 response, mitigate its impact on the world, strengthen our institutions, advance epidemic preparedness for the future and improve the health and well-being of all people throughout the world,” Dr. Fauci said in a video appearance.

During the Trump administration, Dr. Fauci’s appearances in the White House briefing room were often preceded by rambling, contentious meetings in the Oval Office with Mr. Trump and his aides, many of whom pushed rosy scenarios or misleading data.

On Thursday, Dr. Fauci described a different scene.

“One of the things that was very clear as recently as about 15 minutes ago with the president is that one of the things that we’re going to do is to be completely transparent open and honest,” he said. “If things go wrong, not point fingers but to correct them and to make everything we do be based on science and evidence.”

Dr. Fauci paused, as if to marvel at what he had just said.

“I mean, that was literally a conversation I had 15 minutes ago,” he said. “And he has said that multiple times.”

A reporter noted that Dr. Fauci — who had last appeared in the briefing room in November — had largely disappeared from public view at the end of last year after angering Mr. Trump one too many times.

Are you back now, he was asked.

He smiled and glanced at Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.

“I think so,” he said.

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