Fauci said he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump caught the coronavirus after shunning social distancing and masks

  • Dr Anthony Fauci, the US infectious-disease expert, said he was 'absolutely not' surprised that Donald Trump contracted Covid-19 in September.
  • Fauci said he worried when he saw Trump mingling with guests with no masks at a White House event, which Fauci has labelled a 'super-spreader' event.
  • 'I was worried that [Trump] 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,' Fauci told 60 Minutes.
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Dr Anthony Fauci, the US infectious-disease expert helping to co-ordinate the White House's coronavirus response, said he was "absolutely not" surprised that Donald Trump contracted COVID-19 after seeing him surrounded by crowds of people who were not wearing masks.

In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes on Sunday, Fauci said: "I was worried that [Trump] 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."

Fauci was describing a now-notorious event held in the Rose Garden at the White House on September 26 which he believes to have infected many people, describing it for the second time as a "super-spreader" event.

Trump announced on October 3 that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus, and he began receiving treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center the following day.

Almost no one was pictured wearing masks at the event, and senior officials were shown shaking hands and hugging each other. At least 12 people in attendance subsequently tested positive for the virus.

Fauci told 60 Minutes: "When I saw that [event] on TV I said, 'Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come out of that, that's got to be a problem.'"

In a wide-ranging interview, Fauci criticised what he said were the president's attempts to equate the wearing of a mask with weakness. When the president was released from the hospital, he appeared on the White House balcony and removed his mask.

He also falsely claimed three times last week that a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study had found that 85% of people who wear masks contract Covid-19.

Experts said the president misinterpreted the data, according to an ABC News report, and health officials maintain that people should wear masks in public where social distancing is not possible. 

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