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Dr. Fauci Says News of Infections at Protests is ‘Disturbing’ But ‘Not Surprising’: It’s What ‘We Were Concerned About’

Dr. Anthony Fauci says that he and other public health officials have been concerned about an increase in coronavirus cases due to protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Appearing on Good Morning America Wednesday, Fauci was asked by host Robin Roberts about reports that a number of members of the D.C. National Guard have tested positive after the demonstrations.

“Unfortunately, the report of the national guardsmen being infected is certainly disturbing but it is not surprising,” Fauci said. He added, “When you get congregations like we saw with the demonstrations, as we have said — myself and other health officials — that’s taking a risk. And unfortunately, what we’re seeing now is just an example of the kinds of things we were concerned about.”

Additionally, Fauci said he fears the possibility of out-of-town protesters spreading the virus after returning to their home areas.

“I wouldn’t be surprised that members of the congregation that were there demonstrating could also be infected,” he said. “And many of them would then go back to where they were — because not everyone was demonstrating in the city where they live. They’ve come from the outside. So it’s the kind of things we were concerned about, and unfortunately we’re seeing it come true right now.”

Later in the interview, the subject of a potential vaccine was broached. Fauci said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the progress being made on trials for several candidates.

“We’re going to be going into advanced clinical trials in at least one — and close to maybe three or more candidates,” he said. “Hopefully by the time we get to the mid and late fall, if the process goes well, we will have enough information to be able to make a decision whether the vaccine is safe and effective. Which means, if we are in good shape and that happens, we could have a vaccine either by the end of this calendar year or in the first few months of 2021.”

Watch above, via ABC.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo