Dr. Anthony Fauci echoed what many Americans have already concluded: Donald Trump’s recent Rose Garden ceremony was a “superspreader” event.
Fauci, a leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, made the assertion during an interview with CBS News’ Steven Portnoy on Friday, about a week after the president confirmed he had tested positive for COVID-19. The event in question was held for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump nominated to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Photos and videos taken during the ceremony showed high-profile figures and administration members without proper face coverings and in clear defiance of social distancing guidelines.
Since the event, at least 34 people within the president’s orbit have tested positive for the disease.
“I think the — the data speaks for themselves,” Fauci said. “It was in a situation where people were crowded together, not wearing masks. We had a superspreader event at the White House. So the data speak for themselves.”
CBS News Radio · CBS News Radio Interview: Dr. Anthony Fauci
Fauci, who is also the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, then addressed Trump’s use of the word “cure” while touting the benefits of an antibody cocktail by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
“We don’t have any indication — I think you really have to depend on what you mean by a ‘cure,’ because that’s a word that leads to a lot of confusion,” Fauci said. “We have good treatments for people with advanced disease who are in the hospital.”
Just two days after Trump was released from Walter Reed Medical Center, he released a video insisting he was feeling “like perfect.” The president recently said he might hold a couple of in-person events this weekend; However, Fauci told CBS News that those are unlikely to happen if Trump doesn’t undergo further testing.
“I can tell you, they are going to be testing him to determine the trajectory and whether he gets to the point where he’s not infected,” Fauci said. “I don’t know all the other stuff you were just saying. But I can guarantee you that they will be testing him before they let him go out.”
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