Dr. Anthony Fauci recently came under fire for his “poor choice of words” on the U.S. government’s approach to the pandemic. The health care policy expert, however, leaped into action to rectify his stance before things spiraled out of control.

On Sunday, Fauci touched a raw nerve when he divulged that things wouldn’t have gotten to where it is had the Trump administration exercised necessary precaution at the start—precisely the third week of February. The statement was made at CNN’s “State of the Union” show on Sunday, the health expert seemed to have been vocal about how a muddled approach could be one of the attributes behind the crisis spiraling out of control.

“It's very difficult to go back and say that. I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. Obviously, no one is going to deny that,” Fauci said. “What goes into those kinds of decisions is – is complicated. But you're right. I mean, obviously, if we had, right from the very beginning, shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then,” he added.

Evidently, the reveal didn’t go down well with Trump’s administration and his allies. What sparked speculations of the expert being expelled was Trump retweeting a post demanding Fauci should be fired. The White House, however, brushed aside all the rumors surrounding the claims, and termed them “ridiculous.”

Soon after, Fauci seemed to be in the mood to take back his words or rather, offer a clarification of sorts. “Hypothetical questions sometimes can get you into some difficulty,” said Fauci at the start of the press briefing on Monday, categorically mentioning that Trump always paid heed to his suggestions. Fauci was vocal about how his statement was misconstrued over the weekend.

He admitted that the word “pushback” was “a wrong choice of words”. Fauci also shut down a reporter’s question on whether the latest statement was a voluntary move, and asserted, “Everything I do is voluntary. Please. Don’t even imply that.”

Coronavirus COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Donald Trump Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, in the press briefing room of the White House on March 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the United States, with New York's case count doubling every three days according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Drew Angerer/Getty Images