WH ceremony for SC nominee was a super spreader event: Fauci



Photo: IANS

Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert, has identified the September 27 White House ceremony to nominate conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court as a "super spreader" event.

"I think the data speaks for themselves. We had a super-spreader event in the White House and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks. So the data speak for themselves," Fauci said in an interview on CBS Radio on Friday.

Fauci's remarks came after a government memo, dated Wednesday and obtained by ABC News, revealed that at least "34 White House staffers and other contacts" have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in recent days.

According to the memo, an unnamed senior adviser to President Donald Trump, who has returned to the White House after his Covid-19 diagnosis, has also tested positive for the disease.

Meanwhile, Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller, both senior aides to the President, have tested positive in recent days.

The others in the President's inner circle who have also tested positive for the virus are First Lady Melania Trump, White House Press Secretary Kayley McEnany, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, Utah Senator Mike Lee, North Carolina Senator Thom Tilis, former adviser Kellyanne Conway and Trump campaign director Bill Stepien.

According to report in The Washington Post, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now playing a limited role in helping with contact tracing for the White House outbreak.

When asked about the President's health, Fauci told the CBS Radio said that when Trump coughed during his appearance on Fox News on Thursday night was not unusual.

"Most people, when they recover, they recover fine. In a linear fashion, they get better and better and better, which it appears that the president is doing.

"But having a bit of a lingering cough is not at all unusual as someone recovers. So I was not that taken aback by the clip that you just told me because when people do recover, they can have a lingering cough and maybe even a little shortness of breath for a while after they recover. Sometimes it takes a while to get everything back to normal," he added.

Fauci also said he was certain that Trump;s doctors will not allow him to leave the White House without 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 would just saying. But I can guarantee you that they will be testing him before they let him go out." - IANS