Dr. Fauci voices concern over 'disturbing' report that D.C. National Guard members have coronavirus after protests

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci is continuing to stress the importance of social distancing in addition to wearing masks amid the ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd — and voicing concern over some "disturbing" recent news.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared Wednesday on Good Morning America amid the large nationwide protests sparked by Floyd's death in police custody, and he was asked about a recent report that some members of the D.C. National Guard who responded to protests have tested positive for COVID-19.

This was "certainly disturbing, but is not surprising," Fauci told GMA, adding that he "wouldn't be surprised" if some of those who were demonstrating also have the coronavirus and could potentially bring it back to other cities if they traveled to D.C. for the protests.

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"When you get congregations like we saw with the demonstrations ... that's taking a risk," Fauci said. "And unfortunately, what we're seeing now is just an example of the kinds of things we were concerned about."

While GMA's Robin Roberts noted that many protesters are wearing masks, Fauci said that doing so must be in addition to social distancing.

"The issue of physical separation is important," Fauci said. "Masks can help, but it's masks plus physical separation."

Fauci had previously said he was "very concerned" about the spread of the coronavirus due to the protests, saying it's "a delicate balance because the reasons for demonstrating are valid and yet the demonstration itself puts oneself at an additional risk." Brendan Morrow

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.