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Fauci: Trump Saying COVID-19 'Affects Virtually Nobody' Is 'Very Disrespectful'

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The nation’s top infectious disease expert is pushing back on President Donald Trump’s false claim that COVID-19 “affects virtually no one.” 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked about Trump’s claim during an interview on CNN on Tuesday.

He said, “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.”

“Quantitatively, for sure, it’s much, much, much less serious as a group in young individuals,” he added.

However, he admonished Americans to remember that COVID-19 poses a threat to elderly individuals and people at “any age” with underlying conditions. He added that a “substantial portion” of the population that has an underlying condition. 

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Fauci continued:

“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. And if you look at the number of Americans — and it’s stunning — who have these underlying conditions, such as obesity, you know there are you know somewhat 25, 30% of the population can fall into that.”

“So, don’t just think the elderly are the problem. True, people with underlying conditions, but those are not just isolated to the elderly. There are plenty of younger people who have underlying conditions that put them at risk,” Fauci added.

Watch the video below:

During a rally in Swanton, Ohio, on Monday night, Trump erroneously claimed that COVID-19 “affects virtually nobody,” as IJR reported.

The president told his supporters that “we now know the disease” and that it “really affect” elderly individuals who have “heart problems and other problems.”

He continued, “In some states, thousands of people — nobody young. 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.”

Trump then added, “But it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”

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The president’s comments come as the U.S. has reported more than 7 million coronavirus cases and over 200,000 deaths due to the virus. 

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