Tags: Coronavirus | George Floyd Protests | Law Enforcement | fauci | national guard | infections | washington dc

Fauci: National Guard Virus Infections After DC Protests 'Not Surprising'

fauci in a dark gray suit and black tie sitting in front of a microphone
Anthony Fauci (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 June 2020 11:41 AM

Reports that members of the District of Columbia National Guard have tested positive for COVID-19 after being deployed to the nation's capital during the recent George Floyd protests are "certainly disturbing" but "not surprising," Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said Wednesday. 

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he would not be surprised if other people who were at the rallies in the nation's capital were also infected. He fears they may have taken the virus home with them from there and other protest marches. 

"Many of them would then go back to where they were [from] because not everyone was demonstrating in the city where they live," he said. "So it's the kind of thing that we were concerned about and, unfortunately, we're seeing it come true right now."

The National Guard is using social distancing and personal protective equipment, the Washington branch said in a statement, but would not disclose how many members contracted the disease, reports NBC News.

"All Guardsmen who are suspected to be at high risk of infection or have tested positive for COVID-19 during demobilization will not be released ... until the risk of infection or illness has passed," the statement said.

ABC News reports that at least eight states nationally — Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah — have experienced spikes in coronavirus-related hospitalizations since May 25, the day Floyd was killed. 

Public health and local officials say they believe the increases are related, however, to reopening the economy or to people who are disregarding social distancing guidelines and not wearing masks, as it is still too early to determine if the protests will have an effect. 

Fauci said Wednesday that even though the country is moving toward fully reopening, it does not mean "all bets are off" with COVID-19. 

"You still should be wearing a mask," he said. "You still should be trying as best as possible to have that physical distancing. You still need to wash your hands as often as you possibly can and avoid congregation in large numbers."

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Reports that members of the District of Columbia National Guard have tested positive for COVID-19 after being deployed to the nation's capital during the recent George Floyd protests are "certainly disturbing" but "not surprising," Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of...
fauci, national guard, infections, washington dc
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2020-41-10
Wednesday, 10 June 2020 11:41 AM
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