Dr. Anthony Fauci said he wasn’t shocked when President Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
Fauci, who is one of the lead experts on the White House’s coronavirus task force, told CBS’s 60 Minutes that the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event where Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett was his latest pick for the Supreme Court made him worry about the president’s health.
“Absolutely not,” he said after being asked if he was “surprised” at the president’s diagnosis. “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,” he added.
More than a dozen people in the president’s orbit contracted coronavirus late last month and into October. Members of the first family, White House staffers, White House reporters, and members of Congress who spent time at the White House all tested positive for the virus, including those who attended the Barrett nominating ceremony, which Fauci has called a “superspreader” event where there was little social distancing, and few people were wearing masks, although everyone was tested upon their arrival that day.
“When I saw that on TV, I said, ‘Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come outta that, that’s gotta be a problem,’” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. “And then, sure enough, it turned out to be a superspreader event.”
The president spent three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment and has since declared himself cured and returned to the campaign trail. It remains unclear just how Trump contracted the coronavirus.