"Two questions get asked when people have hesitancy or reluctance to get vaccinated," he said.
"Did you go too quickly is the first. The answer to that, the speed, was a reflection of extraordinary scientific advances and did not compromise safety, nor did it compromise scientific integrity," he said.
"The next question is, okay, but what about the fact, is it really safe and is it really effective, or is this something the government is trying to put over on us? Is this something the companies want to take advantage of? Well, let's take a look at what's happened over the past few months. We have had clinical trials and thanks to the volunteers in that trial, in tens of thousands who put themselves on the line to prove to the country and the world that these are safe and effective products. The decision as to whether or not it's safe and effective was not in the hands of the company, nor was it in the hands of the administration. It was in the hands of independent body of individuals, scientists, vaccinologists, ethicists, statisticians, to examine the data independently and say it's ready to look at for approval. At which point the company submits it to the FDA, and together with the advisory committee of the FDA, make the decision it is now ready to go. So the process was independent and totally transparent."
Fauci described the moment as "unprecedented" but also "bittersweet," for all the lives that have been lost. However, he expressed hope that with the vaccine, the months ahead would get sweeter.