Dr. Anthony Fauci said he is not involved with Donald Trump's medical care amid questions about the president's treatment and the level of severity of his COVID.
'I think it's obvious that I have not been involved,' Fauci told CNN on Monday morning.
The president checked into Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday evening after testing positive for the coronavirus. The White House has offered mix messages about his treatment and state of his health.
Fauci defended Trump's medical team, led by Dr. Sean Conley, a Navy commander.
'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.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said he is not involved with Donald Trump's medical care
Fauci defended White House physician Sean Conley and said President Trump was getting 'optimal care'
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and was a constant presence at briefings in the early days of the pandemic. But as President Trump pushed the country to reopen, Fauci did viewer and viewer public and media appearance.
Trump, meanwhile, has stayed front and center even from his hospital suite. He's released photos and videos of himself at work and, on Sunday, he made a heavily criticized appearance outside the hospital, riding in an SUV to wave to his supporters.
'I don't want to really go there and comment on that,' Fauci said when asked about Trump's appearance.
He did not that medical guidelines say a person is safe to go out around 10 days from the onset of symptoms. Trump is believed to have first had symptoms Wednesday or Thursday.
'The general guidelines are when is it safe for a person to go out from the time they get symptoms is probably around 10 days from the onset of symptoms,' Fauci said.
Trump made the last-minute, surprise visit to his supporters outside Walter Reed Medical Center, driving by the screaming, applauding crowds in his presidential SUV. He waved to them from inside car and was wearing a face mask.
In the front passenger seat was a person wearing full personal protective gear, including a face shield. Secret Service agents were also in the car. The president went into the hospital Friday evening after testing positive for the coronavirus.
The White House said the president made a short trip and then returned to the presidential suite inside the hospital.
'President Trump took a short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside and has now returned to the Presidential Suite inside Walter Reed,' White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
'Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.'
Medical experts criticized the president's decision, arguing he put his Secret Service detail, who ride in the car with him, at risk.
Dr James Phillips, a Walter Reed attending doctor, condemned the president's Sunday afternoon drive, which violated Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
He said it was dangerous and reckless, in comments which quickly went viral - gaining more than 100,000 'likes' and 40,000 retweets in the first hour.
Trump was driven by his supporters where he waved at them from the SUV and he wore a face mask during the short trip
President Trump briefly left his hospital room at Walter Reed Medical Center to thank supporters lined up outside the hospital
Trump supporters waved American flags and Make America Great Again campaign signs outside of Walter Reed hospital
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