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Fauci has been promoted to the role of chief medical advisor to the White House under Joe Biden's administration - but he had a trying relationship with the former president.
One recurring bone of contention was the subject of face masks, with Trump regularly choosing not to wear one and expressing mixed messages about their importance.
Now that Fauci can speak openly without fear of reprisals (Trump once shared a tweet with the hashtag #FireFauci), he has shared his view that the 45th POTUS saw face masks as a threat to his manhood.
Speaking to The Atlantic, he said: "It's really tough to get into his head, but I think what was going on with him is he was not interested in the outbreak.
"The outbreak to him was an inconvenient truth that he didn't accept as a truth. It's something that got in the way of what he really wanted to do.
"He's a pretty macho guy. It's almost like it diminishes one's manhood to wear a mask. To him, a mask was a sign of weakness.
"The unfortunate aspect of this is that a lot of people in the country took that on as a mantra. That's the problem."
REPORTER: Why are you opposed to wearing a mask?
TRUMP: "I just don't want to wear one myself ... I'm feeling good. I just don't want to be doing-- somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk. The great Resolute Desk ... I don't see it for myself." pic.twitter.com/7dWmQQY3Aw
- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 3, 2020
By contrast, Biden has begun his tenure with a '100 Day Masking Challenge', whereby citizens have been asked to wear a face covering for the first 100 days of his presidency.
This sharp change in direction has come as a huge relief to Fauci, who is glad that science is being treated with the reverence it warrants.
He said: "We went from an alternative world into a real world. It isn't anecdote; it's facts. The president makes that known not only publicly, but privately when he speaks to us.
"Fifteen minutes before I got up on the podium the other day for the first press conference, he told me that science will rule and that what we want are facts, evidence."
Science will always guide my Administration.
- President Biden (@POTUS) January 28, 2021
He continued: "If something goes wrong, we don't blame people; we fix it. That's the way we're going to do it.
"And to have the leader, the boss, the president of the United States, tell you that 'What I want is science to rule what we do and what we say' - [that] was diametrically opposed to the anecdotally dominated White House."
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