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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 Care: CDC urges 'universal' indoor mask use when not at home | Pelosi bullish on COVID-19 relief | Trump largely silent on coronavirus as health officials sound the alarm Fauci warns US has not hit 'Thanksgiving peak' even as cases soar The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Fauci to serve as Biden's chief medical adviser 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 John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE was sickened with coronavirus after seeing him and others maskless at a White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettGraham reports 'record-breaking' 9M haul during 2020 campaign The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates Supreme Court sees new requests for religious COVID-19 carve-outs 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 TrumpDC attorney general: Ivanka Trump 'highly misleading' on lawsuit deposition Biden warns Americans against traveling for Christmas McEnany hits Democratic leaders for not following their own COVID-19 restrictions 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 GinsburgSupreme Court sees new requests for religious COVID-19 carve-outs Cuomo likens COVID-19 to the Grinch: 'The season of viral transmission' For Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty 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.