Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested Sunday that President Trump has politicized wearing a mask—or not wearing a mask—as protection against COVID-19, but that “deep down,” the president “believes in science,” CBS News reports.

In a wide-ranging interview with Dr. Jon LaPook, CBS Chief Medical Correspondent, Fauci said, “I think deep down, [the president] believes in science. If he didn’t, he would not have entrusted his health to the very competent physicians at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.”

When LaPook asked about Trump’s inconsistent mask use, Fauci said Trump “sometimes equates wearing a mask with weakness.”

“I think that’s less an anti-science than it’s more a statement…a statement of strength, like, we’re strong, we don’t need—we don’t need a mask, that kind of thing,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert said.

When asked did that course of action make sense, Fauci said, “No it doesn’t. Of course not.”

Fauci also noted that when he saw the White House Rose Garden event for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to replace late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he was afraid that it would be a super-spread event. We now know that to be the true.

As ESSENCE previously reported, during the first presidential debate, Trump mocked Biden for always wearing a mask.

“I think masks are OK,” Trump said, in response to moderator Chris Wallace asking why he is rarely seen wearing a mask in public. “I put a mask on, you know, when I think I need it.

“I don’t wear masks like him,” Trump said of Biden. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask…he could be speaking 200 feet away” and then “shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Trump later spent three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center being treated for COVID-19 earlier this month. In addition to Remdesivir, the president also received an infusion of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail, along with dexamethasone, zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, a daily aspirin, and supplemental oxygen.

While at Walter Reed, he decided to break quarantine and take a motorcade joyride to wave to MAGA supporters.

Trump later claimed that contracting COVID-19 was a “blessing from God.”