Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, opened up on Monday about one of the most infamous claims about the coronavirus made by Donald Trump.
Trump, who was president at the time, suggested a disinfectant, like bleach, as a potential treatment for the COVID-19 infection.
“Then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute,” Trump said in April. “Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that.”
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was not present during that infamous moment.
‘I could just see what’s going to happen’
But he saw it ― and was alarmed.
“I just said, ‘Oh, my goodness gracious,’” he said on CNN. “I could just see what’s going to happen: You’re going to have people who hear that from the president and they’re going to start doing dangerous and foolish things.”
Fauci said he and others in public health immediately attempted to counter the president’s comments, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning people about the use of bleach and Fauci himself issuing similar advice
Trump later claimed he was being “sarcastic.” However, Fauci’s fear came true: Trump’s comments were followed by a rise in accidental poisonings involving disinfectants such as bleach.
See Fauci’s full comments on CNN below:
“Sending me an envelope with powder that explodes in my face to scare me and my family, boy that tells you the depth of the divisiveness,” says Dr. Fauci of death threats he received during the Trump administration. “January 6th to me was like … here it is in its ultimate.” pic.twitter.com/JeCIM1T0kM
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) January 26, 2021
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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