Dr. Anthony Fauci knocked down President Donald Trump’s claims about the coronavirus affecting only older people.
The infectious disease expert apparently took umbrage to the president’s assurance to rallygoers Monday in Ohio that only “elderly people with heart problems and other problems” can get sick from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In some states, thousands of people — nobody young,” Trump told his supporters. “Below the age of 18, like, nobody. They have a strong immune system, who knows? Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”
Fauci appeared the following morning on CNN, where medical expert Sanjay Gupta took exception to the president’s remarks as inaccurate and disrespectful to older Americans.
“It’s very disrespectful to me,” Fauci said, laughing. “Because I’m in my 70s, I’m like your father — I could be your father, Sanjay — so it isn’t just the elderly and those with underlying conditions. It can be serious in young people. Quantitatively for sure, it’s much, much less as serious as a group in young individuals.”
But Fauci warned that many more Americans had underlying health conditions that could result in serious complications from a coronavirus infection.
“If you’re a younger person, you know, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and you have diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, you are in the risk category for a serious disease,” Fauci said. “If you look at the number of Americans, and it’s stunning who have these underlying conditions such as obesity, you know? There are somewhat 25 percent, 30 percent of the population can fall into that. Those people who have other underlying conditions are a substantial proportion of the population, so don’t just think the elderly are the problem.”
“It’s very disrespectful to me, because I’m in my 70s … It isn’t just the elderly and those with underlying conditions. It can be serious in young people,” Dr. Fauci says. Yesterday, President Trump falsely claimed that coronavirus affects “nobody young.” https://t.co/QOKw2ZLaVD pic.twitter.com/tFhUPIXqRM
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) September 22, 2020