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Fauci says it’s up to individuals to determine COVID-19 risks at events

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Advisor and Director of the NIAID, responds to questions from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19.
Greg Nash

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on Sunday that it is up to individuals to determine their level of risk exposure to COVID-19 when deciding whether to hold or attend large functions amid a recent spike in cases in Washington, D.C.

“I think the people who run functions, who run big dinners, who run functions like the White House correspondents’ ball, or thinking back, the Gridiron Dinner, are going to have to make a determination looking at the CDC guidelines and seeing where the trends are,” Fauci told ABC “This Week” host Jonathan Karl. 

At least 67 people who attended the Gridiron Dinner last week have tested positive for the virus, according to The Washington Post. They include several White House officials and congressional lawmakers.

Fauci highlighted places that have required both vaccination and a same-day negative test as one way to go about taking precautions.

“I mean, there are some places you go, not only is it required that you show proof of vaccination, but you have to have a negative test the day you go to a particular place.”

“And I know a lot of social functions throughout Washington and in New York are doing the same thing, and it’s up to the individual to determine what their level of risk. We don’t want to pooh-pooh getting infected,” Fauci said. “I think people sometimes say, well, it’s OK to get infected.”

Fauci said despite individuals determining risk, no one should be downplaying getting infected.

“No, it’s not, because there are things like long COVID and there are sometimes people even though they don’t require hospitalization, Jon, they get significantly ill,” he added. “They may be at home, they may require a doctor consultation, but they don’t get hospitalized. That’s not something to pooh-pooh.” 

Tags ABC News Anthony Fauci CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC COVID-19 COVID-19 pandemic Dr.Anthony Fauci Dr.Anthony Fauci Gridiron Jonathan Karl Jonathan Karl Jonathan Karl
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