Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in Washington, DC, on September 23.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday told CNN he was “disturbed and concerned” that roughly 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 were being identified daily in the US.

Fauci also confirmed he had not been involved in treating President Donald Trump for COVID-19 and said the president’s doctors were qualified to treat him.

During the interview, Fauci declined to comment on the president’s controversial motorcade trip outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he is hospitalized. 

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Monday that he was “disturbed and concerned” by the number of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed each day.

“I am certainly not pleased (or) satisfied, but I’m actually disturbed and concerned about the fact that our baseline of infections is still stuck at around 40,000 per day,” Fauci told CNN. “That’s no place to be when you’re trying to get your arms around an epidemic and get it to a very low baseline.”

Fauci also said he was worried about the coming colder weather in the fall and winter, which will most likely draw people indoors rather than outdoors, presenting a heightened risk of viral transmission.

According to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, more than 7.4 million people in the US have been infected by the coronavirus, and more than 209,000 have died. Globally, more than 1 million people have died from complications stemming from COVID-19.

Fauci also confirmed Monday that he wasn’t involved in treating President Donald Trump. Early on Friday, Trump tweeted that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for COVID-19. Later that day, he was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he has been hospitalized. The first lady has remained at the White House.

“I have not been involved,” Fauci told the CNN “New Day” anchor John Berman. “But again, I don’t want to get into talking about the president’s case, because that’s not something that I’ve really been cleared to talk about. But personally, I have not been involved in the direct care of the president.”

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The nation’s top coronavirus expert, however, said the doctors caring for Trump were qualified.

“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 getting the optimal care that you can get with the team over at Walter Reed,” he said.

On Saturday, Conley, the White House physician, delivered a largely positive statement about Trump’s condition, skirting key questions about the president’s health and whether he required supplemental oxygen since he had fallen ill. Conley confirmed at a news conference on Sunday that Trump had required supplemental oxygen during his treatment.

The president also left his hospital suite at Walter Reed on Sunday to take a lap around the hospital in his motorcade to wave to supporters camped outside. The move elicited anger from some, including from an attending physician at Water Reed, who said Trump unnecessarily exposed his Secret Service agents to the virus.

When asked about Trump’s decision to leave the hospital while being treated for COVID-19, and whether the president should be partaking in more strict isolation, Fauci declined to comment.

“I don’t want to really go there, John, and comment on that, OK?” Fauci said.

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