Fauci Says He Was 'Absolutely Not' Surprised That Trump Got COVID-19

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said in a CBS "60 Minutes" interview Sunday that he was "absolutely not" surprised that President Donald Trump got infected with COVID-19.

What Happened: Fauci told host Dr. Jon LaPook that the event didn't come as a surprise after he saw Trump on television in a “completely precarious situation” at the White House rose garden event, where the president announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.“Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come outta that, that's gotta be a problem,” said Fauci.

When asked by LaPook if he was controlled by the White House on speaking to the media during the pandemic, Fauci said, “I think you'd have to be honest and say yes. I certainly have not been allowed to go on many, many, many shows that have asked for me.”

The immunologist also distanced himself from an advertisement released by the Trump campaign that features him showering praise on the president’s handling of the pandemic, saying he would not “publicly endorse any political candidate.”

Why It Matters: Fauci told CBS News that things would have to “get really, really bad” before he would advocate another lockdown.

Trump was admitted to the Walter Reed Medical Center this month after developing COVID-19 and administered an experimental antibody treatment made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals REGN. The president was also given Gilead Sciences, Inc’s GILD antiviral drug remdesivir.

The president’s treatments put the focus on antibody drugs made by Regeneron and Eli Lilly And Co’s LLY, as he touted them as a “cure” for COVID-19. The president also promised a vaccine against the disease shortly, mentioning drugmakers like Johnson & Johnson JNJ, Moderna Inc MRNA, and Pfizer Inc PFE in a video released after he came out of the hospital.

Photo courtesy: The White House

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