Correction: The headline of this piece originally erroneously stated that Fauci had "missed" commenting on Lollapalooza. In fact, he did say in a recent interview with Katie Couric that "I was a bit taken aback by the film clips that I saw. There were a lot of people crowded around together, and given the fact that we know that vaccinated people can spread infection, and even though we know that outdoors is always safer than indoors, there was a really lot of crowded that we saw in those films. So I got a little bit concerned about that myself. I'm pretty risk averse. So I would, even though I'm vaccinated, I don't think I would go to a really massively crowded place where you're essentially face-to-face with somebody. I would be concerned about that." We regret the error.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, complained Sunday about the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally taking place in South Dakota, warning the gathering may become a super-spreader event for COVID-19.
Noticeably absent from Fauci's concerns were recent events that also have the potential to become COVID super-spreader gatherings.
What did Fauci say?
During an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," host Chuck Todd asked Fauci whether he is concerned that Sturgis will drive a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Last year, a relatively smaller Sturgis rally — which typically draws more than 500,000 people to South Dakota — was blamed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for causing a COVID outbreak.
Responding to Todd's question, Fauci said he is concerned about another outbreak and suggested rally attendees are being irresponsible.
"I'm very concerned, Chuck, that we're going to see another surge related to that rally," Fauci said.
"I mean, to me, it's understandable that people want to do the kinds of things they want to do. They want their freedom to do that," he continued. "But there comes a time when you're dealing with a public health crisis that could involve you, your family, and everyone else, that something supersedes that need to do exactly what you want to do."
Fauci added that people who want the freedom to continue living their lives without COVID restrictions, like Sturgis attendees, must "realize" that "something bad is going on."
What did Fauci not discuss?
As was noted after Fauci's interview, the infectious diseases doctor failed to target another notable recent mass gatherings for criticism: Obama's 60th birthday bash.
Obama's birthday party — which drew celebrities from across the country to Obama's Martha's Vineyard estate — took place with maskless guests, who were not required to be vaccinated. The party went on despite the CDC classifying Martha's Vineyard as a region with "high" COVID-19 transmission, meaning vaccinated people there should wear face masks indoors and avoid large gatherings.