Administration

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

Washington Examiner/Pool

Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House’s COVID-19 response team, said in a new interview that he was not surprised that President Trump was sickened with coronavirus after seeing him and others maskless at a White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

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.

“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 Trump 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 Ginsburg, 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.

Tags Amy Coney Barrett Amy Coney Barrett nomination Anthony Fauci Donald Trump Melania Trump Ruth Bader Ginsburg White House coronavirus task force
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