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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: NIH reverses Trump's ban on fetal tissue research | Biden investing .7B to fight virus variants | CDC panel to meet again Friday on J&J Fox News's Bret Baier posts vaccination selfie The Hill's 12:30 Report: Nearly half of U.S. adults partially or fully vaccinated 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 TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE was sickened with coronavirus after seeing him and others maskless at a White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettDemocratic Rep. Mondaire Jones calls on Breyer to retire Democrats roll out legislation to expand Supreme Court Pelosi says she won't bring bill to expand Supreme Court to the floor 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 TrumpFox News's Bret Baier posts vaccination selfie The Memo: Specter of vaccine hesitancy rises after J&J blow Trump says Prince Philip's death an 'irreplaceable loss' for UK 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 GinsburgDemocratic Rep. Mondaire Jones calls on Breyer to retire Democrats roll out legislation to expand Supreme Court Pelosi rips McConnell in new book: He's an 'enabler of some of the worst stuff' 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.