- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 23, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden‘s chief medical adviser, accused the previous presidential administration on Friday of having prevented him from appearing on MSNBC‘s popular “The Rachel Maddow Show” cable program.

Appearing on “Maddow” two days into Mr. Biden‘s presidency, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said he would have been on sooner if not for the Trump administration.

“I’ve been wanting to come on your show for months and months. You’ve been asking me to come on your show for months and months, and it’s just gotten blocked,” Dr. Fauci told the show’s host.

“I mean, let’s call it what it is. It just got blocked. Because they didn’t like the way you handle things and they didn’t want me on,” Dr. Fauci told Ms. Maddow, a fierce critic of Mr. Trump.

Dr. Fauci was among several people selected during the previous administration to sit on the White House Coronavirus Task Force created under Mr. Trump to respond to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

He repeatedly found himself at odds with Mr. Trump, however, who three months ago called the doctor a “disaster” and “not a team player.” Mr. Trump later hinted at possibly firing him, as well, although he never did.

Mr. Biden defeated Mr. Trump in the November presidential election, however, and the following month he said he wanted Dr. Fauci to serve as his chief medical adviser and on his coronavirus response team.

In an interview on the eve of Mr. Biden becoming president, his incoming medical adviser said that it had been “somewhat awkward” serving in the Trump administration during the pandemic.

“It’s not a happy day when you have to get up in front of national TV and contradict something that the president of the United States says. I take no pleasure in that at all,” he told the Harvard Business Review on Tuesday.

“I don’t take any great pleasure in criticizing presidential leadership or the people around the president, but we had a situation where science was distorted and/or rejected,” he elaborated on MSNBC. “And a lot of pressure was put on individuals and organizations to do things that were not directly related to what their best opinion would be vis-a-vis the science.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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