Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event

Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event
© Washington Examiner/Pool

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: WHO calls for pause on COVID-19 booster shots in wealthier countries | Delta's peak is difficult to project, but could come this month Surgeon General: 'Odds are high' vaccine for kids under 12 will be approved in upcoming school year Fauci: US could see 200K daily COVID-19 cases in the fall MORE, a member of the White House's COVID-19 response team, said in a new interview that he was not surprised that President TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE was sickened with coronavirus after seeing him and others maskless at a White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettBill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol Supreme Court's approval rating dips to 49 percent  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week MORE.

Fauci, who is the nation's top infectious disease expert, told CBS News in an interview that images he saw of the event alarmed him even before it was revealed that numerous attendees had tested positive for the virus. He worried that numerous people would be infected, he said.

"Were you surprised that President Trump got sick?" asked CBS's Jon LaPook, a doctor.

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"Absolutely not," Fauci responded. "I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask."

"When I saw that on TV, I said, 'Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come out of that, that's got to be a problem.' And then sure enough, it turned out to be a superspreader event," Fauci continued.

At least 11 people who attended the Sept. 26 event, including both Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpAzar regrets Trump didn't get vaccinated on national TV Only Trump can fix vaccine hesitancy among his supporters Trump discussed pardoning Ghislaine Maxwell: book MORE as well as numerous journalists and lawmakers, tested positive for COVID-19 following their attendance. Photos of the ceremony, at which Trump announced his intent to nominate Barrett to the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgBill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol Supreme Court's approval rating dips to 49 percent  Anti-abortion movement eyes its holy grail MORE, showed few attendees wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines recommended by Washington, D.C., health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trump's diagnosis resulted in a multiday hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where the president was treated with a steroid regimen as well as an experimental antibody cocktail.