Dr. Fauci fires back at Trump campaign ad

After Trump campaign ad quoted Fauci out of context, the infectious disease expert tells "GMA" he doesn't like to be associated with anything political and is not contemplating further action.
6:23 | 10/15/20

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Transcript for Dr. Fauci fires back at Trump campaign ad
Signs are mounting of a new wave. Averaging 50,000 cases a day and positive test rates surging across northern states. Six states are setting records for hospitalizations. At least 38 states plus D.C. Reporting an increase in cases and policy lab researchers predict a significant increase over the next four weeks. Dr. Anthony Fauci joins us now. Dr. Fauci, thank you for joining us again this morning. When you look at these numbers how worried about where we're heading this winter and where we are right now? It's quite concerning, George, because as you just mentioned we have a baseline of daily infections at approximately 45,000, 50,000 per day, and then if you look at the states that you just mentioned, several of them, well over 30, have upticks in test positivity which has proven in the past to be a very good prediction of a surge in cases which ultimately leads to a Sturgis in hospitalizations and then ultimately in some individuals that will obviously be an increase in deaths. The issue is that as we enter as we are now in the cooler season of the fall and ultimately the colder season of the winter, you don't want to be in that compromised position where your baseline daily infection is high and you are increasing as opposed to going in the other direction so we really got to double down on the fundamental public health measures that we talk about every single day because they can make a difference. You talk about doubling down. Your adult children won't be coming home for Thanksgiving this year. What should all of us be doing to prevent Thanksgiving from becoming a superspreader event? Well, you know, understanding that everyone has this traditional emotional understandable warm feeling about the holidays and bringing a group of people, friends and family, together in their house indoors, that's understandable but we really have to be careful this time and each individual family evaluate the risk/benefit of doing that, particularly when you have people coming in from out of town who may have been on airplanes in airports to just come into the house. If you have vulnerable people, the elderly or people with underlying conditions, you better consider whether you want to do that now or maybe just forestall it and just wait and say, you know, this is an unfortunate and unusual situation, I may not want to take the risk but then it's up to the individuals and the choices they make. The president is holding packed rallies every day talking about immunity. Still suggesting the virus is going to disappear. Is the president doing what he needs to do saying what he needs to say setting the example the country needs right now? George, I've said it time and again, you know, I don't like to be pitted against what the president says but it's so clear that when you have congregate settings and so many people and in a situation where the community infection rate is there you can't run away from or argue with the numbers. When you have a high community spread and you're in a situation where we know you can get spread acquisition and transmission, particularly when people are not wearing masks is fault a good thing. That's a high risk endeavor. I know you don't want to be at odds with the president. You served presidents of both parties since 1980, I believe, but the president's campaign is continuing to feature you in a campaign ad even after you said this is a form of harassment, pointed out they're taking your words out of context and warned it would backfire on the president. What did you mean by that exactly? I know you won't resign are you contemplating any further action? No. No, I'm not contemplating any further action, George. What I meant by that is that it's very clear that I have stated without any equivocation that I'm an apolitical person. I don't like to be associated with anything political or any -- certainly any political party campaign and the way I was juxtaposed in that ad, it made it look very much like I was part of a political campaign, and I'm expressing that I don't like that and when I said it might backfire when people see they're doing things that are clearly against my will it's going to make them look bad. That's what I meant, knock more than that. Let's talk about herd immunity. The white house embraced this great declaration which talks about herd immunity and goes on to say, the most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection while better protecting those who are at highest Rick. We call this focus protection. What do you think? It has a couple of things in it that are fooling people. It says things that are like apple pie and motherhood, a, we don't want to shut down the country. I say that all the time. B, we certainly want to protect the vulnerable but hidden in there if you in fact let people get infected and worry about essentially protecting the vulnerable, there's about 30% of the population has underlying conditions that make them more susceptible to getting the adverse events and outcomes of serious disease with covid-19. If you just let things rip and let the infection go, no masks, crowd, it doesn't make any difference, that, quite frankly, George, is ridiculous because what that will do is that there will be so many people in the community that you can't shelter, that you can't protect who are going to get sick and get serious consequences. So this idea that we have the power to protect the vulnerable is total nonsense because history has shown that that's not the case. And if you talk to anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases, they will tell you that that is risky and you'll wind up with many more infections of vulnerable people which will lead to hospitalizations and deaths so I think that we just got to look that square in the eye and say it's nonsense. That's the last word, Dr. Fauci, thanks for your time this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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