Monday, January 17

Fauci said he’s’disturbed and concerned’ by the number of new COVID-19 cases in the US and that he’s not involved in treating Trump’s illness

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday he was “disturbed and concerned” that there are approximately 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in the US daily.
  • Fauci also confirmed Monday that he had not been involved in treating the president for the coronavirus, and said the president’s doctors were qualified to treat him.
  • During the interview, Fauci declined to comment on the president’s controversial motorcade trip around the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he is hospitalized.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday he was “disturbed and concerned” by the number of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed each day.

“I am certainly not pleased (or) satisfied, but I’m actually disturbed and concerned about the fact that our baseline of infections is still stuck at around 40,000 per day,” Fauci told CNN on Monday. “That’s no place to be when you’re trying to get your arms around an epidemic and get it to a very low baseline.”

Fauci also said he was worried about the upcoming colder weather in the fall and winter, which will likely draw people indoors rather than outdoors, presenting a heightened risk of viral transmission.

According to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, at least more than 7.4 million people in the US have so far been infected by the coronavirus and more than 209,000 have died. Globally, more than 1,000,000 people have died from complications stemming from COVID-19.

Fauci also confirmed Monday that he wasn’t involved in treating President Donald Trump. Early on Friday, Trump tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. Later that day, he was transported to the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he has been since. The first lady has remained at the White House.

“I have not been involved,” Fauci told CNN’s “New Day” anchor John Berman. “But again, I don’t want to get into talking about the president’s case, because that’s not something that I’ve really been cleared to talk about. But personally, I have not been involved in the direct care of the president.”

The nation’s top coronavirus expert, however, said the doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where Trump has been treated since Friday, were adequately qualified to treat him.

“My colleagues that I know, including Sean Conley, are very good physicians and they’re very qualified so I am really confident that the President of the United States is it getting the optimal care that you can get with the team over at Walter Reed ,” he said.

On Saturday, Conley delivered a largely positive statement about Trump’s condition, skirting key questions about the president’s health and whether he required supplemental oxygen since he had fallen ill. Conley confirmed at a news conference on Sunday that Trump had required supplemental oxygen during his treatment.

The COVID-19-positive president also left his hospital room at Walter Reed to take a lap around the hospital in his motorcade to greet supporters camped outside on Sunday. The move elicited anger from some, including from an attending physician at Water Reed, who claimed Trump unnecessarily exposed his Secret Service agents to the virus.

When asked about Trump’s decision to leave the hospital while being treated for COVID-19, and whether the president should be partaking in more strict isolation, Fauci declined to comment.

“I don’t want to really go there, John, and comment on that, OK?” Fauci said when asked by the CNN anchor.

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