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Fauci warns against attending Super Bowl parties

Fauci warns against attending Super Bowl parties
© getty: Anthony Fauci

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: US health officials call for J&J vaccine pause over rare blood clots | White House seeks to reassure Five questions raised by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause Biden says vaccine supply not impacted by J&J pause MORE, the White House COVID-19 response team's chief medical adviser, on Wednesday warned Americans against attending Super Bowl watch parties with guests from outside their immediate households as high rates of new coronavirus infections persist.

In an interview with NBC's "Today" show, Fauci said that "there always is a spike" of new infections coinciding with times when people traditionally gather with friends and family, and urged viewers to do what they can to avoid making the pandemic worse.

“Enjoy the game, watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.

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"As much fun as it is to get together in a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that," he added.

Fauci's comments come as COVID-19 case rates have dropped sharply from their peak in early January, but remain higher than during much of 2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance earlier this week urging Americans not to attend Super Bowl parties, and to put in place measures to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 if they plan to do so.

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Approximately 22,000 fans are expected to attend the game itself in Tampa, Fla., and two players have already landed on the COVID-19 reserve list due to close contact with people who tested positive for the virus.

When asked early Wednesday by host Savannah Guthrie whether he was betting on the Kansas City Chiefs or Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Fauci laughed and joked: "I don't want to go there."