Fauci Calls White House Ceremony a ‘Super-Spreader Event’

(Bloomberg) — Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious-disease expert, said that a gathering in the White House Rose Garden last month was a “super-spreader event” for the novel coronavirus.

President Donald Trump held a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 26 to honor Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. While the White House had a testing regime in place to screen for virus cases, few guests wore masks and attendees mingled and sat in close proximity to one another both indoors and outdoors.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Barrett rose garden party


© Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Barrett rose garden party

Guests in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Subsequently, the president and several top staffers, as well as senators and military officials, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“The data speak for themselves,” Fauci said in an interview Friday with CBS News Radio. “We had a super-spreader event in the White House. And it was in a situation where people were crowded together, were not wearing masks. So the data speaks for themselves.”

Fauci said in the interview that people who are infected with the coronavirus but aren’t yet showing symptoms can transmit the pathogen to others, which makes the case for wearing face coverings.

Read more: When the White House and the pandemic converged

Asymptomatic individuals “are a substantial part of the people that actually transmit infections to other people,” Fauci said in the CBS interview. “So the better part of the recommendation would be everybody wear a mask, literally universally.”

Trump was hospitalized last week after testing positive, and was given several experimental therapies, including Gilead Sciences Inc. antiviral remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone and an antibody cocktail made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. Trump said he intends to grant an emergency-use authorization to the Regeneron drug, which hasn’t yet been cleared in any form by U.S. regulators.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

Fauci says White House COVID-19 infections could have been prevented

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top U.S. infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose advocacy of public health guidelines to fight the coronavirus has conflicted with President Donald Trump’s downplaying of the pandemic, said on Tuesday the recent rash of infections at the White House could have been prevented.



Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Fauci, Redfield testify at U.S. Senate hearing on coronavirus response in Washington


© Reuters/POOL
Fauci, Redfield testify at U.S. Senate hearing on coronavirus response in Washington

Several close aides to Trump and senior Republican politicians have tested positive for the coronavirus since the Republican president announced on Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had contracted the virus.

“Take a look at what happened this week at the White House,” Fauci said in an interview with American University’s Kennedy Political Union, when asked what advice he had about how people could discuss preventive actions with relatives who believed the pandemic was a hoax.

“That is a reality, right there. And every day that goes by more people are popping up that are infected. It’s not a hoax. It’s an unfortunate situation when you see something like that because that could have been prevented,” Fauci said.

Fauci has been a long-time advocate of wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Trump returned to the White House on Monday from a military hospital where he spent three nights being treated for COVID-19, telling Americans “to get out there” and not let their lives be dominated by the virus.

Video: Trump has ‘no symptoms,’ returns to downplaying virus (Associated Press)

Trump has ‘no symptoms,’ returns to downplaying virus

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

He left hospital wearing a mask, but removed it to posed for pictures on the White House balcony and did not put it back on when he entered the building.

The president, who is trailing his Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the Nov. 3 election, has pushed for quicker reopening of the economy and schools and accused Democrats of preventing that for political purposes.

Trump rarely wears a mask in public, and there is often little social distancing at his campaign rallies and White House events.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has ascribed a surge in coronavirus infection in part to the country’s failure to shut down completely.

More than 210,000 people in the United States have been killed by the coronavirus and more than 7 million infected, more than any other country.

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, a top speechwriter for Trump and an influential adviser on Trump’s hardline immigration policy, on Tuesday became the latest COVID case reported among Trump associates. [L1N2GX2HH]

Others announcing they had tested positive in recent days include close Trump adviser Hope Hicks; White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany; Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien; and Republican Senators Mike Lee, Thom Tillis and Ron Johnson.

(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Mary Milliken and Michael Perry)

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

‘This is a busy White House’: Trump told Dr. Fauci he didn’t have a lot of time to talk about COVID-19: Bob Woodward

President Trump reportedly told journalist Bob Woodward that he was too busy to meet with Dr. Anthony Fauci one-on-one in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

A previously unheard recording of Trump released Monday shows Trump shrugging off the need for more in-depth meetings with the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, CNN reported Monday.

“This is a busy White House,” Trump told Woodward in March as the death toll started rising. “We’ve got a lot of things happening.”

“Honestly there’s not a lot of time for that, Bob,” the president added.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci


© Provided by New York Daily News
President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci

President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci

Video: Martha MacCallum on Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis: ‘The President seemed impenetrable’ (FOX News)

Martha MacCallum on Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis: ‘The President seemed impenetrable’

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

The new recording is from one of 18 interviews that Trump gave to Woodward for the iconic journalist’s book “Rage” about Trump’s White House.

Earlier recordings revealed that Trump admitted that he “like(s) playing down” the threat from the pandemic to the public even though he knew how dangerous it was.

In the new recording, Trump praises Fauci as “a sharp guy” but again seeks to tamp down the need for a full-court press to battle the virus, which was just starting to kill significant numbers of Americans.

Last week, the Republican president became one of 7.4 million Americans who contracted coronavirus and to date, he is currently receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Woodward has said he believes Trump’s mishandling of the virus shows that he is profoundly unfit to lead the country.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

The rise of White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, a lockdown skeptic who increasingly has Trump’s ear and is worrying experts like Fauci



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Dr. Scott Atlas (right) speaks at White House press conference on September 23, 2020, as President Donald Trump (left) looks on. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty


© MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty
Dr. Scott Atlas (right) speaks at White House press conference on September 23, 2020, as President Donald Trump (left) looks on. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty

  • President Donald Trump brought Dr. Scott Atlas, a vocal anti-lockdown critic, onto his coronavirus task force in August.
  • Atlas is a healthcare-policy expert who works at the Hoover Institute, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. He is not an infectious-disease expert.
  • Yet the White House has increasingly brought him out to speak at recent coronavirus briefings instead of experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci or Dr. Deborah Birx.
  • He appears to be worrying top US health experts: CDC Director Robert Redfield was overheard saying “everything” Atlas says “is false,” and Fauci called him an “outlier” in his coronavirus views.
  • In response to Redfield and Fauci’s comments, Atlas told Business Insider: “Career government public health officials do not have a monopoly on knowledge.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Dr. Scott Atlas has only been on the White House’s coronavirus task force for a month, but appears to already have President Donald Trump’s ear and is worrying top experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Atlas was brought onto Trump’s coronavirus task force in August, after appearing on Fox News for several months, where he often echoed the president’s views — including an opposition to lockdowns.

He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank at Stanford University.

Unlike the other experts on the task force, Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, Atlas does not have a specialty in either infectious diseases or public health. Instead, he focuses on healthcare policy and has a background in neuroradiology, which is the reading of X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.

Nonetheless, Atlas has become a favorite of the president, appearing often at the White House’s coronavirus briefings. Birx and Fauci have not spoken in those briefings as much in recent weeks.

Fauci, Redfield wave red flags

On Friday, an NBC News reporter overheard CDC Director Robert Redfield referring to Atlas in a phone conversation, saying “everything he says is false.” Redfield confirmed to the reporter after the flight that he was indeed talking about Atlas.



Robert R. Redfield wearing a suit and tie: CDC Director Robert Redfield seen testifying before the Senate on September 23, 2020. Redfield was overheard on a flight recently saying that "everything" Atlas says "is false." ALEX EDELMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty


© ALEX EDELMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty
CDC Director Robert Redfield seen testifying before the Senate on September 23, 2020. Redfield was overheard on a flight recently saying that “everything” Atlas says “is false.” ALEX EDELMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty

And in a Monday interview with CNN, Fauci described Atlas as an “outlier” when it came to his opinions on the virus.

“You know my differences with Dr. Atlas, I’m always willing to sit down and talk with him and see if we could resolve those differences,” Fauci said.

In response to Redfield and Fauci’s remarks, Atlas told Business Insider: “All of my policy recommendations to the President are directly backed by the current science, and they are in line with what many of the world’s top medical scientists advise, including Martin Kulldorff and Katherine Yih of Harvard Medical School;

Read more